ODETTE ALLEN - March 2019
My work is abstract in nature, using color to create emotion and drama, while the
titles of my work serve to focus the emotion and message. I use my background
in archival documentation and social activism to fuel artwork about the issues I
find most pressing. The ultimate goal of my work is to enable people to broaden
their emotional perspective, allowing them to understand or empathize with
perspectives they could not previously understand.
Past work has explored how people who carry the burden of discrimination
respond to that experience, based on history and location. I am currently
developing a series of abstract paintings about sexism and exploitation of
women. These works reflect my fear, frustration and rage at the limitations and
damage to which women are chronically subjected. The work is an invitation for
those who do not feel this way to find parallels within their own lives, moments
that enable them to relate and build empathy for an experience they have not yet
BIO: My artistic practice brings together three divergent disciplines: art, archives, and
activism. I received my bachelor’s degree in art in 2007, and I earned my masters
degree in history and archival management in 2014. I have been a social and
environmental activist since 2000 and this drives the focus of much of my work. My
key interests are addressing environmentalism and the intersectional issues of
racism and sexism.
My emerging art practice is focused on painting; and I am developing a portfolio of
mural work. In addition I lecture about archives, art, activism, and history as the
archivist at Tacoma Community College.