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News & Updates

Creative Spotlight: West Virginia Mixed Media & Collage Artist – Dick Allowatt



In our new series, Getting to Know You, The Tamarack Foundation for the Arts will introduce you to artists and makers living and working in West Virginia.

Meet Dick Allowatt.

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I am a native West Virginian and currently live in St. Albans.  Most of my life has been devoted to making art, with over 30 years as a graphic designer and creative director.  I continue to freelance and for the past several years, I have been creating mixed media artwork. 

My focus is on collage, mixed media and assemblage.  I love working with my collection of found objects and vintage books, discovering relationships for in congruent materials and images.  I bring these elements together to evoke mystery, fantasy, humor, or to simply create a pleasing arrangement with no hidden meaning, preferring to leave the interpretation of the results up to the viewer.

My work is usually inspired by vintage objects, books and ephemera which I seek and collect.  I am drawn to the aged finish and patina of these materials and very seldom have a preconceived notion of what I will create.    What excites me is discovering new and unexpected relationships for in congruent materials and images. 

The petrified remains of a lizard, a discarded computer circuit board, an old Cracker Jack toy, these are among the treasures that provide me with inspiration and potential for new works of art. I guide these forgotten materials to their new home with paint and other traditional mediums.  For me, the thrill is in the unpredictable journey and the surprise destination.

Click here to enjoy a conversation with the artist.


Dick Allowatt, Mixed Media & Collage Artist, Kanawha County, West Virginia (via ArtVoiceWV

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This video has been made available by ArtVoiceWV and 78 Degrees West Films.

ArtVoiceWV is an online series that profiles West Virginia artists and is a production of 78 Degrees West Films.  Major support for ArtVoiceWV is provided by Dave Graves, Sally & Jerry Berman, and Jan & Harold Bright. Additional support is provided by Polly & Terre Jones, Karen & Rick Schneider, Clara Ladd Ceil & Randy Jones, Pat & Bob Marrgraf, Jan Weinberg, Arlene & Tony Verge, FAST Foundation, Star Theater, Susan & Gat Caperton, Ian Weinschel, Beth & Tim Rowland, Kate Lehman, Jane McCloud and Eryn & Brian Lampe.

This video was produced by 78 Degrees West Films, shot with a Canon XF300 and a Canon EOS T3i, and was edited and color graded with FCPX.  Music was provided by Benjamin Gustafsson through www.musicbed.com  you can listen to more of his music at www.soundcloud.com/benjamin-gustafsson/.

Watch other artists at www.artvoicewv.com.

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About the Artist:

Dick Allowatt has participated in many juried exhibitions locally and nationally.  He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Governor’s Arts Award in 2015. He is a juried Tamarack: the Best of West Virginia artist and a Signature Member of the National Collage Society.  Find out more about Dick Allowatt and his art at www.allowatt.com.

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About The Tamarack Foundation for the Arts:

The Tamarack Foundation for the Arts builds the creative economy of West Virginia through artist entrepreneurship. When West Virginia creative entrepreneurs are given the boost needed to build their businesses and access new markets, the results include increased national visibility, healthier communities, and a stronger economy reflecting our state’s proud heritage of art and craft. Creative innovation comprises a vital and growing piece of our economy.

Find out more about our work at www.tamarackfoundation.org.