Art Ethereal: Pamella Allen

I rendered our current topic to Garden Spices Contributors, “Exploration.”  Immediately, this artist,  unknown to me,  appeared in my Facebook News feed.  I was immediately mesmerized by her work, and I was familiar with one of her frequent subjects, indigenous spiritual mandalas.  On further exploration, I found that her work transcends earthly existence; it is transformative.  Right away, I knew she had to appear on our pages, and we are grateful that she consented.  Welcome, Pamella Allen @calabargallery.Victorine


Artist Statement

I was born a creative, landed feet first on earth hard-wired to make things. The process of art-creation is intuitive, instructive, and most necessary for me. Even before immigrating to the states as a young girl, in my infancy, I understood the fact that change is a constant. Early on I became aware of a need to make images by scratching pigment into things like paper, fabric, walls, floors, sand, soil into anything really. I found that if I illustrated from observation and memory, I could bring back or hold onto moments that were lost me like the face of my mother, hummingbirds in flight or a spot under my favorite tree listening to the elders share histories and her-stories. The story of the immigrant child is often one of lost memory or disconnection; in this way, my art has grown into my bones and has become the way that I capture artifacts and archetypes and re-create my own story to fill in the blank spaces; it is how I see myself in an ever-changing landscape.

My art is at once a tool for actualization through trauma and a means of communication and observation through the mundanity of daily life. My “career” as an artist has not been the traditional one, after a brief stint at the Art Students League and a residency at MOMA, I choose the road less traveled and traded lecture halls and museum walls for a painting residency in France, continent-hopping through Europe, a life at sea on the North Atlantic, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Pacific, and Ionian. With a backpack and life on the road overland in east, central and southern Africa and some time in residency in India checking things out from north to south. My artistic journey is today as it started, steeped in change and creativity and so my works speak directly to my experiences here on terra nova, one black woman’s story told visually, my reckoning of all that I have seen on the journey. – Pamella Allen

Me Mandala
Acrylic hand made paper, sand, and mixed media on canvas
©️Pamella Allen 2016
This work is featured in the publication, “Brooklyn On My Mind: Black Visual Artists from the WPA to the Present” 1st Edition ( Release Date December 15, 2018) @myrahbrowngreen #finearts #figurativeart #selfportrait #brooklynartist #artcollection #artsalesonline #calabargallery

This mixed media painting is in private collection & because she still lives in me, more are coming from this series, yes she has sisters and sisters and sisters replicating and pushing to get out. #figurativepainting #blackwomenartists #acrylicpainting #portait #selfportrait #fineart #artcollection #privatecollection #worksinprogress @calabargallery @chase_aston #jamaicanartist #internationalwomensday

Pamella & Pria Wheels – Journalistic Art Book #12 ( front & back cover) 23”x9.5” Acrylic, collaged silk screen print and mixed media on paper ©️Pamella Allen 2017- Full book still in progress, these take me years to complete. #artbook #worksonpaper #collageartwork #prayer #buddhism #arttravelgr #figurativeart #expressionism #artcollection #artprints

Tara’s Tear 11”x9” (11x14framed) Another in my series of deconstructed #mixedmedia #collage works ©️Pamella Allen 2020  

This theme of #passion & #compassion is also a constant in my works so Tara returns and returns. #selfportrait #fineart #jamaicanartist #tara #profile #artcollection
For purchase, inquiry or #commission contact @calabargallery

My Green Tara 30″x30″x2.5″
Acrylic, rice paper & mixed media on canvas
©️Pamella Allen 2018 @calabargallery

“My Green Tara” tells the story of Cityscapes, Naturescapes & Oceans that I have seen from Dharamshala to the Maasai Mara, from Galu Kinondo to Kerala. Although I propound no dogma, I see the truths running through all religious practices in the origin of their intent and the similarities in all of these creation myths meet in my work, and in this work, it is clearly evident. Moment, memory, and the mystic of nature is always the muse as I create an appropriate lived experience by layering and collage of deconstructed visual elements that I illustrate, paint or photograph along with tactile elements created by nature that I gather on my journeys over land and sea. #figurativeart #collector #interiordecor #fineartpainting #figurativepainting #greentara

This deconstructed mixed media collage work is entitled ‘Kande, Kerala or Kingston” 16”x10” ©️Pamella Allen 2020 because often in my travels, I meet the same souls or related souls and their similarities are such that it leaves me at a loss to discern where in the world I am! #mixedmediaart #worksonpaper #collageart #photography #handmadepaper #illustration #encausticpainting #fern #arttravel #artistlife #fineart #jamaicanartist
For inquiry and to #buyart contact @calabargallery


To create the series of #mixedmediapaintings entitled My Mandala, I have appropriated the #ritual, #therapeutic and #storytelling use of the #mandala in indigenous cultures throughout history. To make My Mandalas, I use my own #artifacts and #archetypal images, the motion of repetitive form, the written word, and earth elements such as sand and wood to create a landscape grounded in the mystic of nature.
The desire is to make a place of “one-ness” in the process of creating the mandala that translates to the viewer as a place of inspired peace, a place of meditation. ©️Pamella Allen 2020 #fineart #contemporaryartist

Life is Mystery Love, work by Pamella Allen, 2018, @calabargallery

Another in a series of Self studies, taken while working in studio & listening to James Baldwin speak on “The struggle of the Artist” selfportraitphotography #fineartphotography #artistinstudio #jamaicanartist #brooklynartist #blackandwhitephotography #light #shadowwork #pamellaallen #studio #artcollector #blackartistsmatter #womenshistorymonth

“Pamella Allen is a descendent of a long line of mystic storytellers. Through her work, she investigates the intersections of memory and nature, body and soul. A Jamaica-born, Brooklyn based artist, she uses artifacts from her life experiences pulled from memory and observation, her work is layered in process: mixed media paintings, printmaking, sculpture, paper making, Installation, photography/video essay & prose combine to create her own archetype; a universal language of images found and remembered that speaks to the diversity of her heritage, lived experiences and reverence for the mystic found in our natural world.”  – Calabar Gallery
Pamella Allen Fine Arts is Now Represented by Calabar Gallery in Harlem! Visit the site, shop now!
Pamella Allen – Calabar Gallery



  • Reply May 9, 2021

    Carol Sterling

    Pamela Allen is a gift to the world. Her art work is characteristically thoughtful, aesthetically excellent and provocative. Her warmth, caring and compassion as a human being and teaching artist is unprecedented. It is an honor to know her and be her friend and colleague.
    Carol Sterling
    Former Arts Education Director
    Brooklyn Arts Council

  • Reply May 28, 2021

    Pamella Allen

    The Unstoppable Carole Sterling !! Thank you so very much for your post. & Thank you for your mentorship all those years ago when I began my New York teaching arts practice and for your continued friendship and support of my arts practice! The honor is all mine! Pamella Allen

  • Reply June 3, 2021


    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing artist!

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