Author of 'The Walldogs - America's Different Breed of Public Art Muralists'
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Articles, videos, testimonials
"One of the joys of my experiences with Public Art has been the willingness of others to utilize my comfort with public speaking to help define the experience and to promote and enhance the sense of 'community' in the groups I speak to. I feel duty-bound to speak for all public artists in helping advance the need for Public Art and its ability to bring people together in spaces created for the public benefit and enjoyment. Simply put, life and all its stresses requires us to find serenity or support in places created by public artists for that expressed purpose....."
~ Jay Robert Allen, 2015
Jay Robert Allen is the owner and President of ShawCraft Sign Co., Inc. in Machesney Park, IL. In the sign business since 1983, he and his company have been the recipients of numerous international awards for design excellence n the art of sign making and fine art murals.
Jay is also a published author, seminar instructor, public speaker and past contributing writer for the former SignBusiness (now Sign & Digital Graphics) magazine. Allen's large-format Public Art murals grace the walls of various communities throughout the country. Since 1999, he and his fellow artisans have completed 50 murals across 8 states.
Mr. Allen was the co-chair and driving force behind the International Letterheads 'Walldog Rendezvous' held in Belvidere, IL
in June of 1997 - just the 3rd 'Walldog' meet ever held. The festival attracted 350 artists from all over the world to assist in the painting of 6,000 square feet of murals (on ten different walls) in the downtown business district – all in a brief span of just 72 hours. The festival won the 1997 Governor's Art Award for Community from the Illinois Arts Council - and First Place in the State of Illinois Dept. of Tourism – Citywide Promotion division in 1997. In 2008, Belvidere was declared an Arts Friendly Community by the Illinois Arts Alliance and the Illinois Municipal League. The mural project continues today and is regularly highlighted in various publications and newspapers throughout the state and country.
2019 - Design and painting of an historical mural in Mount Barker, Western Australia
2016 - Authored and released first book - "The Walldogs"
2014 Lincoln Award Nominee - Illinois Dept. of Tourism
2009 Illinois Humanities Council Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award.
2009 Distinguished Citizen Award from the Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce.
1998 - Keynote Speaker - 25th International Letterheads convention - Boise Idaho
2000 Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels - by then-Gov. Paul Patton
1998 - Keynote Speaker - Canadian International Letterheads convention - Banff, Alberta, Canada
18 awards for excellence in sign design and fine art murals from the Signs of the Times International Sign Design Contest.
Married to Jody Allen, proud father of one son, Evan - and grandchildren, Poppy Jane and Sagan.