Leroy W. Allen was one of the most celebrated young American artist of the late 20th and early 21st century. From the local recognition he received from critics, galleries, and media in his hometown of Kansas City, to national coverage and acclaim by the likes of U.S. Art, Upscale Magazine, The New York Times,The Kansas City Star, Hampton University, New Orleans Picayune, and many, many others, his extraordinary gifts and talents have left their mark. A sampling of some of his noted works include "Papa Jim" (Private Collection), a 40"x26" charcoal rendering of his grandfather, James Wilkes, a Mississippi farmer, and a commissioned work for the Negro League Museum, "Winds of Change" (Limited Edition Lithograph ). His work was exhibited** by many galleries nationwide, including the reknown Stella Jones Gallery in New Orleans , the Hearne Fine Art Gallery in Little Rock, and others. He participated in the Black Romantic Art Show at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York in 2002 and his art was singled out for comment by The New York Times critic. He was also included in the 2004 Southern Journeys exhibit put on by the Alexandria Museum. Southern Journeys was an exhibit of African American art and artist of the south or those influenced by the south.
Leroy was a member of and/or received awards from the American Watercolor Society (AWS),National Watercolor Society (NWS), California Watercolor Association, the National Oil and Acrylic Painter Society. He won top awards in consecutive years 1996, 1997, and 1998 in the Museum of Science and Industry's "Black Creativity Exhibition " in Chicago, Illinois and those honors were some he was proudest of having received. Leroy W. Allen's art is in the private collections of hundreds of well-known American collectors, galleries, historical societies, and corporations.
On March 9, 2007, tragically we lost this great artist. The Kansas City Star ran an appreciation article in its Sunday, April 8, 2007 issue titled 'A Huge Loss' to KC (Alice Thorson, Art Critic) with the sub-heading "Artist's works captured the humanity of everyday people." For me, the loss is far more personal. Leroy W. Allen was my most dearly beloved brother.
Reviews for Leroy Allen:
The Times Picayune - ROMANTIC REALISTS - Watercolorists Demonstrate Mastery of the Medium, June 25, 2004. "Although many people think of watercolor as the genteel choice of Sunday painters, it may actually be the most difficult artistic technique to master. A great watercolorist is able to create a painting with such economy and diftness that the hand of the artist is almost unnoticeable--a feat akin to walking across a snowy field without leaving footprints. Both Allen and Mitchell can do just that. - Art Critic Doug Maccash.
New York Times - April 26, 2002, front page Art & Liesure, "Black Romantic," A Black World of Ins and Outs - "The work traverses the gamut from fine art to soft schlock. At the high end are artists like Dean Mitchell, Leroy Allen,..." - Art Critic Michael Kimmelman
Hampton University Museum.International Review of African American Art - News & Reviews. "Black Romantic and Relevent". "Contemplation," watercolor image featured. 2004, Vol 19.2
Art Business News January 2004 - Black Buying Power "Hazel Eyes" & New Editions "Union"
From The Mayor's Doorstep - NY Art Critic(former Time magazine chief critic) Piri Halasz, June 2002,
"The symbolic work did nothing for me, but I did like the naturalistic approaches of Clifford Darrett, Leroy Allen,...
USart Magazine - "Artist Favorite Picks"(2001), March 2002
"Mitchell remembered Allen's charcoal drawing of his grandfather from an exhibition in Kansas City. "It had a certain power, a strenght to it" he says. "The line quality was just overwhelming."
USart Magazine - "25 Artist You Should Know," May 2002.
TVframes(Harlem) - A body of Allen's work is featured on the Current Urban Culture TV show. Based in Canada, TVframes is syndicated around the world.
Kansas City Star - "Love Of Life In Every Brush Stroke". "His studio and other rooms in his home display the emotionally resonant realist style he has evolved. The award-winning "Sundrops" displays all the hallmarks of the artist's figurative style, capturing both the inner and the outer beauty of its little-girl subject, her shyness and individuality. "He has the time to work and it shows" said Melissa Rountree, curator of the Hallmark Fine Art Collection. "His figures are more alive. He's tackling subject matter in a more thoughtful way." - Star Chief Art Critic Alice Thorson, 5/4/03
"Great Art Provokes Change," caption, and image of Allen's "Papa Jim," appears with full page promotion for Art At The Center nationally acclaimed juried exhibition. Review Magazine, April/May 03.
Watson Guptil, Book Publication, December 2001. Art Business News, February 2003 and January 2001. Kansas City Star, 1998-2003(Jan/Feb/May). Arkansas Gazette, April 03 Clifton Record(Texas), Aug 03
**Exhibitions for Leroy Allen:
Selected Exhibitions: "Southern Journeys" Alexandria Museum of Art, LA. October-December 2004 "Sacred Center". Stella Jones Gallery, New Orleans LA. May/June 2004 "Voices on Paper" Hearne Fine Art Gallery, Little Rock AR. May 2003. "Celebrations and Investigations". Village Shalom Museum 2003. "First Light" American Jazz Museum. Bing Davis, Curator. 2003 "Black Romantic" Studio Museum in Harlem, NYC, April 2002. *American Watercolor Society 133rd International Exhibition 2000, NYC *California Watercolor Association National Exhibition 1998 & 2003 SF *Mississippi Watercolor Society, Grand National Exhibition 2002 *Bosque Conservatory National Exhibition 2001, Clifton TX. *National Watercolor Society 78th International Exhibition 1998, CA *Museum of Science and Industry, 96,97,98, Chicago Ill. *National Oil and Acrylic Painters' Society, Governor's Mansion, MO. *Pastel Society of North Florida 98. *Vision 2000 National Invitational. St Louis MO. *Baker Art Center National Exhibition 2002, Liberal KS.
(*)indicates juried exhibition and receipt of award.
For information regarding the Leroy W. Allen Scholarship Fund please email us!