Terry Allen Live

Alexandra Smith

Terry Allen, the “true Renaissance man,” paid a visit to ISU Thursday night.

Allen is a well acclaimed artist who has contributed art work to Morrill Hall in the Christian Petersen Art Museum and has created 18 neon sculptures in the new State Gym called “A Public Perception.” In Terry Allen’s Live Talk he showed a power point slide of some of his artwork and told his stories and the inspirations that went along with them.

Allen said the true definition of art is, “to get out of town, go somewhere else, to other worlds.”

That is one of the main reasons Allen said he loves art. It allows him to “get out of town.”

Allen turned many of his artistic pieces into theater productions along with help from his wife, who narrates and plays in most of his pieces. Allen finds a way to mix music, paintings, sculptures, and theater all into one piece.

Much of Allen’s work has speakers attached to it, bringing a still art piece to life. In San Diego, Cali. he did pieces outdoors with three trees. He covered the trees in sheet lead, making them look dead but still hardly noticeable.

With one tree he had a musician recording, singing whatever he liked. This musician could be someone in a studio or someone he found and asked to play. Then in another tree he had someone record stories.

“It was possible to walk through the woods not seeing anything, but hearing sound,” Allen said.

Allen said he had just seen his full work in the State gym Thursday and thought it came together well.

“I liked the idea of just using words, people would encounter them as a surprise,” he said.

Everything went smoothly with making the pieces for the State gym, except Allen said, “It took them a long time to build the State Gym.”

So he only got to see his artwork in phases, but seeing it all put together without construction all around he said made him very proud.

“When you have just a word someone either responds to it or ignores it,” Allen said.

“I like my art being apart of the world, I’m much more interested in what happens in my art piece, not how beautiful it is,” Allen said. “I love how people react to me.”