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Biography: Dean Allison

Dean Allison
Dean Allison

Inspired by the people and relationships that shape who we are, Dean Allison creates portrait sculptures through lost-wax casting to explore how physical attributes influence personal perspectives and judgements toward others. Through his process, he celebrates intrinsic beauty through physical form, and through the afflictions and joys of life’s many stages. “I’m thinking about the inside/invisible aspect of a person and the outside/visible aspect that one creates and adorns for external display. Glass is the middle ground, the window to look through,” Allison noted. “I appreciate that the figure in my work directly causes the need to question who the person is and why they matter.”

Allison lives in Penland, North Carolina, where he currently works as the glass coordinator at the Penland School of Crafts. He earned his MA from The Australian National University in Canberra in 2010 and his BS in Studio Arts from Illinois State University, where he was first introduced to glass as an undergraduate student. He has worked as a teaching assistant at The Northlands Creative Glass Center in Scotland, as well as lectured at The Canberra Glass Works in Australia and Chicago Hot Glass. He has taught at The Penland School of Crafts, The Pittsburgh Glass Center, The Bullseye Glass Factory in Portland, Ore., and The Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey. His work is featured in public collections across the U.S.