James Preston Allen
Born: Los Angeles, 1950
Current Residence: San Pedro, California
P.O. Box 731, San Pedro, California 90733
Otis Parsons Art Institute and School of Design BFA 19812401 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CALos Angeles Harbor College Fine ArtsWilmington, CA
May 2012 THE LOFT GALLERY, San Pedro, CA
Curious Matters Assemblage with Anne Daub
July-August 2012 BARNSDALE PARK Group Show
2001 GALLERY 478, San Pedro, CA Group Show
1985 SAN PEDRO ARTISTS PART II Group Show
PALOS VERDES BECKSTRAN GALLERY James Allen
PALOS VERDES COMMUNITY ART CENTER with Craig Antrum; Michael Davis; Carl Kane; Dustin Shuler
1985 SIXTH STREET GALLERY, San Pedro, CA Group Show
Paintings on Glass
Mixed Media Enamel and Acrylic
1984 EQUAL TIME, ART WITH SOCIAL CONSCIENCE Angels Gate Cultural Center, Los Angeles Harbor
Co Curator James Allen/ James Hugunin
1983 PACIFIC REGIONAL ‘83 Group Show1980 Brand Gallery , Glendale, CA Pasadena Art Award
1972 Los Angeles Harbor College Solo Exhibit
About the Artist
For over four decades James Preston Allen has been a guiding progressive political force in the greater Los Angeles Harbor community focusing his keen editorial eye on a multitude of issues both local and regional. He has lectured at college campuses and local high schools on journalism, politics and free speech. He has lectured at Pepperdine College, UC Irvine, Los Angeles Harbor College and various high schools on journalism, history, current events and politics.
He has appeared on multiple occasions on local cable TV and community affairs radio. He is the recipient of the Amicus Collegii award from Los Angeles Harbor College and Random Lengths newspaper has been nominated for the Sonoma State University "Project Censored Awards", and various environmental journalism awards. He has been honored by the San Pedro Neighbors for Peace and Justice with the Peace Keeper of the Year award. He has served as president and vice president of the San Pedro Downtown Business Association 1984-86, vice-chairman and board member on the CRA/LA-Community Advisory Committee 2001-12; where he has championed many initiatives such as historic street lighting, the seam-less interface development with the Port of LA, historic preservation and most significantly the creation of the San Pedro Arts, Culture and Entertainment (ACE) district. He was the founding chairman and visionary for the ACE district.
As one of the early supporters of Neighborhood Councils Mr. Allen championed this cause in his editorials, nurtured public support for them and fought for charter reform. He now has served as President and Vice-president of the Central San Pedro Neighborhood council. He also is a long standing, and one of the most outspoken, members of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and has moderated their conservative positions with his activism for diversity, sane environmental policies and open government.
Over the years Allen has championed many causes through his newspaper using his wit, common sense writing and community organizing to challenge some of the most entrenched political adversaries, powerful government agencies and corporations. Some of these include the preservation of White Point as a nature preserve, defending Angels Gate Cultural Center from being closed by the City of LA, exposing the toxic levels in fish caught inside the port, promoting and defending the Open Meetings Public Records act laws and promoting gender and racial equity and much more.
Of these editorial battles the most significant perhaps was with the Port of Los Angeles over environmental issues that started from edition number one and lasted for more than two and a half decades. The now infamous China Shipping Terminal lawsuit that derived from the conflict of saving a small promontory overlooking the harbor, known as Knoll Hill, became the turning point when the community litigants along with the NRDC won a landmark appeal for $63 million.
Soon there after the Port of LA realized that it had to change its opposition to the environmentalists and started down the path of green technology, environmental mitigation and pro-active stewardship of the tidelands. However, a century of destructive practices by the ports and their corporate clients can hardly be remedied with a decade of change, it is an on-going issue that is still debated.
Now in its 40th year of publishing, Random Lengths under the leadership of Mr. Allen has become the standard bearer of independent journalism that has out-distanced the Copley Daily News-Pilot, and out lasted the Press Telegram's More San Pedro both of which closed their doors. Random Lengths News has become one of the few remaining independent and progressive publications left in the Greater Los Angeles Metro market.
Mr. Allen has resided in San Pedro since 1973 and currently lives with his wife who is also an artist/designer and daughter who is pursuing a Masters degree in marine science. He is a graduate of Otis Parsons.