Artist Rick Allen – also known as the drummer for the legendary rock band Def Leppard – packed a Perimeter Mall gallery on Veterans Day with fans eager to buy his works, with proceeds benefiting his veterans-aiding nonprofit Project Resiliency.
Sporting one of his own creations – a dogtag-style necklace with a Union Jack design – Allen made a point of shaking hands with every single fan who formed a line at the Wentworth Gallery that snaked far outside into the mall. At one point, he strolled into the mall to greet the fans stranded in the hallway. He also met privately with fans who purchased artworks, signing pieces while using one of his painted drums as a table.
Many fans sang along with Def Leppard songs piped over the P.A. system and cheered when the rock royalty arrived – a bit late, after he experienced the typical Perimeter traffic.
In a previous interview with the Reporter, Allen explained how his artwork ties into, and helps fund, Project Resiliency, a nonprofit program he and wife Lauren Monroe formed to provide therapy and healing to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The effort has become therapy for Allen himself, he says, as working with veterans made him aware that he suffers PTSD from the infamous 1984 car crash in which he lost his left arm.
Allen was scheduled to appear later that day at another Wentworth Gallery location in Buckhead’s Phipps Plaza Mall. His artworks will remain on view at both locations.
Photos by John Ruch.