Robert is fourth generation Columbian. He graduated from Dreher High School in 1973 and is a graduate from the University of South Carolina. His paternal grandfather started the first Dermatology Clinic in Columbia. His father, Dr. J. Richard Allison Jr took over the practice and continued until he retired, in 1982 due to Alzheimer’s disease. Bob parents loved art and helped nourished the minds of their children by taking them to many art museums. The family would also take summer trips down to the coast to his grandparent’s home in Garden City. It was there that he was introduced to sculpture during his many visits to Brookgreen Gardens.
This influence is seen today in his love for classic figurative realism and attention to details. The figurative works he creates evolve from day to day interactions, stories his children and wife share with him, or his love of the mythical and whimsical characters. “I strive to bring forth, out of the cold clay, the grace, courage and inner strength of the female and male, the tender innocence of the child and the indomitable spirit of God's creatures.
The relationship between humans and animals can be seen in a number of
his works. In each piece, it is very important for him to focus on the smallest
of details; from the placement of a hand; strands of hair blowing in the wind; or
the eye contact between the subjects. In his view, it
makes the sculpture complete.
“Art is the window into the soul of the community”.