Joyce Owens is a painter and she also creates sculptural works and masks. Owens earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Her main influences there were Lester Johnson and Bernard Chaet. Others who guided her at Yale were Willie Ruff, musician, William Bailey, artist and Al Held. Her undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), was conferred by Howard University in our nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C., where she studied with preeminent African American artists and scholars including David Driskell, the historian and curator of the Bill and Camille Cosby Collection, the late Lois Mailou Jones, internationally known painter, Ed Love, sculptor and Owens’ mentor until his premature death, historian and painter Dr. James Porter and printmaker and painter, James L. Wells. California artist Leo Robinson was an important guide during undergraduate years as was Lloyd McNeill
Owens has been sought out to jury fine art exhibitions and art fairs at the Museum of Science and Industry, The DuSable Museum, Woman made Gallery, Women’s Caucus for Art and The New East Side Art Fair to name a few. She has been a curator for many successful shows and an arts facilitator/consultant putting together artists with events. Owens is a knowledgeable arts panelist who has also developed discussion topics for galleries at Columbia College in Chicago, The Chicago department of Cultural Affairs, The School of the Art Institute, The Carver Museum in Austin, Texas and more. Owens has taught studio painting and drawing classes at Chicago State University since 1996 while also maintaining an active exhibition career. She has been sitting on the Advisory Committee for the Department of Cultural Affair’s Chicago Artists Month since 2002. She consults with the Chicago Artists Coalition, and is on the Advisory Board of Woman Made Gallery in Chicago. Owens is an associate editor for The Journal of African American History.
“American Landscape” addresses my core issue, race, germinating during my Ragdale Fellowship. An anonymous girl from the turn of the 20th Century, several decades after the abolition of slavery, she illustrates the American dream; she may grow like the vegetation around her if the road to success is level and fair.