Oxford’s Southside Gallery currently featuring artist Jere Allen’s ‘Transitions’ exhibit

Published 9:29 am Thursday, April 6, 2017

“Transitions,” a body of work that spans over the past five years includes more than 30 paintings, guides viewers through Allen’s recent creative process.

There is a wide visual spectrum of paintings in the exhibit, some of which are the quintessential Allen paintings that viewers have become familiar with over the years, while others integrate new palettes and themes.

Of course, Allen’s style is unequivocal.

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As varied as these paintings are in regard to theme and palette, they all carry the artist’s imprint. The paintings from “Toward Green” included in “Transitions” are about ecology. Allen emphasizes that the topic of ecology is not exclusive and some of these paintings are an excursion into an environmental consciousness that transcends the corporeal.

One common theme all of these paintings share is Allen’s use of symbolism, which drives his work.

Allen has an encyclopedic knowledge of mythologies from a number of different cultures and often incorporates them into his paintings.

Psychopomps, an ancient concept of an animal that takes on the role of a spiritual guide to the afterlife, are almost ubiquitous in Allen’s works. He has also fused Native American mythology and motifs such as totems into his paintings.

Allen’s wife Joe Ann, also an artist, has been involved in selecting the paintings for “Transitions.” Her input has been critical to curating the show.