Allison Savage is an artist and arts educator. As an artist she is currently working on themes focused on the human condition. Her work is expressive and abstracted in style and application, often using the body and specifically the female body to identify its place and perception in the human experience. Her work is usually large scale created on either paper or canvas and often incorporates found materials that have deeper connection and meaning to the work as a whole. She will often layer mediums from charcoal, to acrylic, glazes, oils and include found materials. The body has been a strong and recurring subject as she continues to explore themes regarding the observer and observed, identity, time, and society as it embraces or rejects today’s issues. Currently she is working on issues that address human rights.
Allison has spent her career advocating for the arts beginning with her assistant directorship at Aldrich School of Art under the tutelage of owner and director Joy Aldrich. She received her BA in Art Education with a focus on painting at San Francisco State University. She then moved to Florence, Italy for two years and studied painting, drawing and sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. She then transferred to Rome for three years where she received a fine arts degree in painting from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma. While in Rome she also attended the school of fine decorative arts and studied fresco painting focused on the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo. Exhibiting her artwork internationally in Italy, Germany, and the U.S.A.
In her return to Stockton, she became a strong advocate for the Arts. Her projects include PAVALA TUTTI focused on arts integration, receiving national recognition, Art Breaks with Teachers Creative Arts Projects at UOP, Passport to University with CSU Stanislaus and Festival of Honor inspired by Mexico’s Dia de los muertos arts and celebrations. When working on her MA.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in the arts at CSU Sacramento she continued her research on identity and cultural heritage with a focus on youth at risk and community building. Predominantly focusing on promoting cultural respect for diversity through the arts. As a person who is culturally diverse, she is passionate about understanding her own cultural experience and that of others, deepening her awareness of the powers that try to divide and conquer through their promotion of racism through ignorance and obvious racial profiling.
Self awareness and the awareness of others, important to her, but also how we deal with grief in all forms through art. Her work in the past not only helped herself with grief, but also many young children within Stockton’s community. In 2018, as the Art Director for Kelly’s Angels Foundation, she started the “Forever Remembered Project” with KAF’s student participants. Focusing on art projects that addressed grief and communication. Dealing with all forms of loss is part of the human experience and when there is no voice art can then allow us to communicate what sometimes lies trapped deep within our minds, heart and soul. Continuing with her reflection and research on the human experience.
My focus on the human experience is an opportunity to communicate what so many people experience but don’t talk about it. It is sometimes easier to fold into the shadows rather than be recognized as a person with life challenges that are sometimes beyond our control.
Over the past four years, under the Trump administration, people have revealed their true beliefs of intolerance, discrimination, hatred, and racism directed towards migrants and people of color. As a result, these views that have been supported and exposed into the light of day have divided families, neighbors and community. The result has been disbelief, sadness, anger, fighting and disagreement. If the purpose was to divide a nation, it was achieved.
The images I created on wood surfaces have a limited color palate using lines and subjects that translate into the inhumane and invisible way immigrants are treated whom are mostly in the pursuit of a home where they can be safe and thrive. The treatment of these immigrants goes unseen and easily forgotten by our media and our people. As the government continues to do and treat these asylum seekers like criminals and as less than animals. I have seen firsthand the treatment of immigrants both documented and undocumented and the horrendous treatment they are shown has only manifested with more hate since the Trump administration. This is unacceptable for the 21st century.
Raised in a predominantly Hispanic household we were educated with the belief that you treated all people with respect and if they were a guest in your home, you treated them with the best hospitality. My parents and family demonstrated this way of enfolding a person because they knew one day their children would also be the guest in someone’s home or in the need of a humane gesture of kindness or generosity. In my travels in Mexico, South America and Europe I have experienced both the incredible hospitality and kindness of strangers and also the hateful disdain towards Americans. It is my hope that if we model humane behavior that those that are watching would in turn treat others including migrants with respect and kindness. Our humanity, compassion, empathy and how we treat or fellow human beings is ultimately what separates us from animals once that is lost, what will we have?
One of my favorite quotes is by Mahatma Ghandi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I still believe we can achieve a better world where our humanity and capacity to care for one another is regarded with the utmost importance.