Dennis Allen’s grandfather, Henry Allen, was one of the last carvers on the Skokomish Reservation, where Dennis has lived most of his life. While caring for his blind grandmother, Dennis became immersed in the culture of his people, learning from various elders how to make baskets, carve canoes, and prepare traditional foods and medicines.
After spending most of his adult life as a logger and fisherman, Dennis began to learn the arts of carving and painting from his son, Andy Wilbur. Eventually, Dennis focused on making bentwood boxes and drums with painted graphics. Later on, he expanded his artistic career and began carving.
Dennis is actively involved in the revival of Salish art throughout his community, having received numerous awards for his adherence to Skokomish tradition in his style of carving.