A respected voice in the art community, Mr. Owens spearheaded the Owen’s Arts Place Museum in Guthrie, Oklahoma in 2005, where he is distinguished for his leadership and skill as the owner and director. Congruent to his entrepreneurial role, he has exhibited paintings and sculpture in group shows throughout Midwest, as well as one-man shows at Langston University, Oklahoma Territorial Museum and Art Association of Oklahoma City. Notably, he has been a representative in the State of Oklahoma Collection. In the earlier years of his career, Mr. Owens excelled as chairman of the art department at Langston University, his alma mater, from 1966 to 1980. He then went on to serve as an assistant professor of art the University of Central Oklahoma for 25 years until 2005.
Inspired by his brothers, who were both artists, Mr. Owens developed a love for drawing in his youth. Through his service with the U.S. Army overseas in Germany from 1953 to 1955, he was able to experience the European perspective of art that enhanced his passion for the subject. The culmination of exposure to art he received up until his discharge from the military allowed Mr. Owens to solidify his decision to pursue a formal career in art. Shortly thereafter, he received a Bachelor of Arts in art education from Langston University in 1959 and a Master of Arts in teaching art from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1965. The following year, in 1966, he achieved a Master of Fine Art from Instituto Allende in Mexico. He also pursued additional postgraduate studies at North Texas State University in the 1970s.
Alongside his primary roles, Mr. Owens is involved with Inclusion in Art, which is dedicated to promoting racial and cultural diversity in Oklahoma’s visual arts community through exhibitions, workshops, creative projects and lectures. Likewise, the collective works to support artists of color by connecting communities through socially conscious presentations that challenge the mind and embrace progressive thought. Currently, Mr. Owens also maintains affiliation with the Higher Education Alumni Council, Oklahoma Education Association, Lions Club and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Reflecting on his career, he is most proud of his opportunities to travel, which included a visit to the University of Rome as a Fulbright scholar in 1970 and a study tour grant from the African American Institute in 1973. From his vast experiences, Mr. Owens hopes to continue to share his passion for art with young and budding artists.