Allen grew up in the small town of Hamburg, Pennsylvania and he still lives nearby. While in High school, Allen developed a strong background in technical drawing. In fact, after 8th grade, rather than art class, Allen signed up each year for Mechanical Drawing classes. In the days before computer aided design (CAD) hand drafting was an important skill. It was also something boys did. Although interested in art Allen believed it when he was told that there was no future in art. He had to figure out a way to make a living so after graduating in 1983 he went on to earn an Associate Degree in Visual Communication from the Art Institute of Philadelphia.
After working in advertising and layout at the local newspaper, the Hamburg Item, as well as numerous other odd jobs, Allen found himself employed by a small publishing company as a technical illustrator. Unfortunately, within a year or so, the company began to dissolve and the owner passed away. Still seeing himself primarily as a draftsman, Allen applied for a position as such with a small civil engineering company. This detour led to a thirty plus year career in municipal code enforcement and consulting (www.berksenvirotech.com). Allen still pursued his interests in art on the side and even shared studio space with another artist.
In 2006, Allen earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Allen’s skill as a draftsman is the unifying theme in his work, which ranges from realistic drawings to more abstract images. He is knowledgeable in a wide range of media and techniques from drawing and printmaking to painting and even sculpture.
Since 2007, Allen has served on the Board of Directors for the Our Town Foundation in the Borough of Hamburg. He is a member of the Hamburg Area Art Alliance and served as chairman for several years.