Under Her Wing was the Universe
My name is romy owens and I am an artist living in Enid, Oklahoma, where I grew up.
I am creating public art in downtown Enid, Oklahoma. There is an empty plot of land owned by the city of Enid that I will activate with pocket prairie, an eco-system filled with native Oklahoma grasses, flowers, and trees. In the middle of the prairie will be a large pavilion with a path and seating. Inside the pavilion, visitors will find a sanctuary-like setting with a light installation above that presents a artist-interpreted universe of stars overhead. This public art will transform the city block of Park Avenue between Grand and Independence.
The downtown square in Enid is vibrant and lively, and this adds another great attraction. This work of contemporary art would become a significant destination for Enid residents and visitors alike. I imagine it becoming the kind of destination where memorable moments could happen: a first kiss, a proposal, teenage daydreaming, or a place where grandparents can bond with grandchildren.
This public art is titled Under Her Wing was the Universe, and my relationship with my mom is the inspiration for the concept. Mom inspired me to dream and imagine unlimited possibilities. Hopefully, we all have had a person like that in our lives. With this artwork, imagine stepping under the shelter of a bird’s wing and seeing an universe within it.
Community Partners for this project include: City of Enid, Americorp's Youth Build, Park Avenue Thrift, and Main Street Enid.
￼With your support: If I have the honor of receiving your donation, I will use the funds to pay for materials, contractors, equipment rental, insurance, and landscaping. Every contribution is deeply appreciated, even if it is only a few dollars. That few dollars may help purchase another bolt for the steel. It takes hundreds of people to fund a project like this. So thank you for your time and for your generosity. I am so grateful that you had a look!
About this fundraiser: I receive all the donations made through this platform, minus a credit card transaction processing fee. Please consider paying by check and bypass card processing fees. You will mail that directly to me (romy owens), as I am the custodian of all the funds. Please email me (theromyowens @ gmail . com) for my mailing address. Your check will be logged as an offline donation and still count towards our goal. If you would like your donation to be tax deductible, please email me for information about the fiscal sponsors who will receive your donation.
The goal: This fundraising goal is based upon expenses. I am creating a 2.5 acre pocket prairie complete with an architectural-scale pavilion with a remarkably small budget. Please help me reach the goal with any amount you can contribute. This is not the kind of project that an artist can self-fund.
About romy owens: I am a visual artist living in Enid, Oklahoma. My artistic practice reacts to location, community, and relationships. I create large-scale installations and smaller works of art.
Learn more : romyowens.com.
I have been fortunate to have two architects help me execute this project. Michael Shuck, Enid, has been with the project since September 2017. adam Lanman was with the project from April through September 2017 and helped establish the site plan and the design of the pavilion's frame. Jessica Nelson is the project manager.
Phase 1: Fundraising (April 2017 - start of construction)
I applied for and received three grants for this project. Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition awarded their Community/Artist Partnership Grant ($1,200). Enid Arts Council awarded a grant to the project ($5,000). The City of Enid awared their Public Arts Commission grant to the project ($24,000).
Phase 2: Off-site material preparation (July 2017 - August 2018)
Phase 3: On-site construction (October - December 2018)
Phase 4: Patron reception (TBD)
Phase 5: Delivery of perk items to donors. (At conclusion of construction)
Through very careful coordination, everyone involved in construction will begin the on-site build on November 5, weather permitting. Let's hope for a wet October and a dry November!
Between now and then, my focus remains on fundraising. I'll update as new information develops.
Artist Talk this Thursday, September 27, from 6-7:30. Talk will begin promptly at 6:15. Wine and iced tea will be served. Location is Enid Symphony Hall in the Jane Champlin Gallery which is located on the fifth floor. This is a fundraising event, so there is a suggested donation of $10. A drawing will be held at 7:30 for a piece of art. You do not have to be present to win, you just have to donate $10. Photo of art is included in this email. [Title: The Mountains that We Moved / 10x10 framed / thread on paper / 2018]
Groundbreaking Ceremony is next Saturday, October 6, beginning at 4:30. An Evite was sent to all donors and project supporters with event details. At the construction site, we will convene for site blessings, a few words, and the actual breaking of ground and group photo. Project supporters with children are encouraged to bring shovels for their children, as it will be children who actually break ground. I am confident you understand why we are not spending money to buy 20+ shovels for the groundbreaking. Please bring your own shovel if you child will participate. The ceremony will conclude with a group photo of all the attendees. After a dinner break, we will gather at 7:30 at the home of romy owens for a concert by The Killdeers. Beverages with bubbles will be served. Please RSVP.
As always, thank you for supporting, and reading! Happy to answer any questions!
And just in case you've missed the news: we got the construction permit! And we've scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony on October 6. I'll be sending an E-vite to donors in a separate email.
I am curious as to what date and time you have picked to represent with this installation. I was also wondering what your plans are for the landscaping around the sculpture. If I might suggest, Enid could use a small scale botanical garden with representations of the natural prairie landscape--like a local version of Myriad Gardens, only smaller and more specific to local flora. This site would be an ideal spot for such a garden. It would be educational as well as suited to the local microclimate, requiring less maintenance than more exotic landscapes. And it would create the perfect foreground for our Enid downtown with your art piece being the focal point. Thoughts?
@Kingkini Arend, thanks for your questions! The date and time I think about is December 24, 2016, 10:40pm. I don't know that this configuration is literally possible, but that is a fixed point in time that I think about often, so how the stars appeared in Enid that night is on my mind. The light installation is a very abstracted version of the night sky though, so that level of organization isn't feeling as critical to me as it did when i first thought about this work months ago. And we are totally wanting to create a remarkably low maintenance pocket prairie on the site. We aren't going to have anything as formal or organized as the Myriad Gardens. We do want to use smaller and Oklahoma specific plants. Absolutely nothing exotic. The prairie landscape has long been a focus in my artwork. We have been talking closely with city leaders to make sure we do what is best for the downtown community while creating something beautiful and eco-friendly. So glad that you like the idea!
I was hoping they would I started drumming Ideas for years in my head, everyone told my I was crazy. They would go for that here in Enid, I won't mention any names tho.
@J.E. Glaze, thanks for your questions! This will be an artistic interpretation of the view of the Enid night sky based upon a specific date and time, which is posted in an image above. Will it look like literal stars in the sky? No, the technologies involved in making it look like an *actual* star filled sky are outside of our budget for an outdoor public artwork. However, we believe it will be a beautiful experience, just as we believe Van Gogh's Starry Night is a beautiful artistic interpretation of a star filled sky. We are creating a micro-universe with 1,000 stars inspired by a singular point in time. So these are fictitious stars that have no names until they are adopted and named. Same goes for constellations and galaxies and solar systems. Does that answer your question?