As the band Def Leppard gets ready to kick off their North American tour later this month, drummer Rick Allen has taken the time to bring his personal artwork to South Florida.

Saturday, January 16th was host to an art unveiling by Rick Allen in the Wentworth Gallery Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale.

The exhibit, titled “Rick Allen: Angels & Icons”, is a testament to the drummer’s personal life thus far,  and does so by making effective use of native English and American imagery to tell a cohesive tale of both a spiritual journey and the many meanings one may discover along the way.

Patrons were given the chance to view and purchase both his artwork and exclusively designed jewelry, with a percentage of the proceeds benefiting Project Resiliency Warrior Resiliency Program. Rick was readily on hand to take pictures and sign autographs for many Def Leppard Fans who came out to support the charitable event.

L’Etage Magazine sat down with Rick to ask him a few questions about his career, inspiration, and art.

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What is the inspiration behind your “Angels and Icons” art collection?

My inspiration comes from my life from boyhood in Sheffield, England to my family life now. My own journey that’s been guided by my desire to grow and be open to the power of the unknowable inspires me every day and I convey it through my art. I’ve met so many angels on earth in my life; I wouldn’t still be here without them.

Which creative outlet came first to you music or visual art?

Art, oddly enough! I actually used to make rhythms with my paintbrush and paint when I was in infant school. I was 5 then. Drumming has been my focus since I was 10, but before then I was really attracted to painting. It’s so great to have come back full circle to what I loved as a young child and have both art and music as a part of my life now.

Can you attempt in your own words the divine attraction to the drums?

The drums seemed to have always been in my DNA since I was a boy. It’s a sacred sound to me, like a mother’s heartbeat before we all are born, very familiar and a place I can feel connected and calm.

Given the continued and ongoing success of Def Leppard, when were you given the opportunity to focus exclusively on your personal artwork?

I take the time to work on my art whenever I can get it. On the bus, days off in my hotel room on tour and when I’m home I work in my studio. Since I rarely have time to focus on one particular thing at a time these days, I seem to be working on everything all of the time. Music, art, and family are the things that make me happy.

Do any of your fellow band members own any of your artwork?

Not yet!

Your Raven Drum Foundation was founded to heal people through drum. What experiences or transformations have you witnessed through this program?

So many transformations have happened with many different types of people. The healing power of the drum has a way of unlocking a deep remembering of sorts, where people begin to remember that we are all connected. I’ve experienced special needs kids that hadn’t any use of their arms move their arms to shake bells, children who haven’t spoken use their voices to make sounds and sing. Wounded warriors let down their guard down and begin to experience something greater than themselves. The drums open the door to feeling the heart when we are closed off and afraid to let go. I have many memories through our Raven Drum work over the past 15 years and they have all been such a blessings to me.

Girl_on_swing_twilightRick Allen’s Angel’s and Icons collection is exclusively available for sale through the Wentworth Galleries which are located in Metro DC, South Florida, Atlanta, Philadelphia and New Jersey. Their website is http://www.wentworthgallery.com or call 1-800-732-6140

Def Leppard’s North American tour starts on January 21st. They are stopping by Fort Lauderdale’s BB& T Center on January 29th.  You can still purchase tickets on their website http://www.defleppard.com/tour

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