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Subject: Art Director Gary Pembroke Allen


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1937-2018
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Date Posted: Thursday, January 17, 06:45:17am

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Gary, a third generation Californian, died peacefully in his sleep after a long illness. He was professionally an artist, teacher, and filmmaker. He was also passionately a dancer, lover, and musician. Gary had a varied and fascinating life. From his earliest days working for Walt Disney as an illustrator to his last career as an art director in TV and film, he was a creative soul.
His art education included time studying with Richard Diebenkorn at the San Francisco Art Institute and then completing an MFA at San Francisco State University. His long teaching career at San Francisco City College provided him the chance to share his love of painting, art history, illustration, and experimental filmmaking with young and old. A chance encounter with a beautiful and talented film fashion designer while on vacation in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, led him to Vancouver where his second long career started as an art director in film. Mostly famous for his years with "The X-Files", where he won an Emmy Award for art direction, he also worked on over a dozen films, including "Housekeeping", "Eye see you", "Knight Moves", "Lone Hero" and "Cousins" (where he had an onscreen role as a painter).
Gary loved the challenge of creating the sets and atmospheres for the magic of film. He talked often about the unusual camaraderie of a "shoot" so many hours of work and play: a great environment for a warm, kind, and fun loving guy. with quite a twinkle in his eyes.
He is survived by his wife, Cleo, sister, Susanne Allen Monson, niece Annik Hirshen and nephew, Noel Pembroke Hirshen. Friends may remember Gary by donating to their local arts organizations and pausing to notice the beauty in the world.

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