Under Her Wing was the Universe

$218,600 of $232,500 goal

Raised by 1,230 people in 26 months
"Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you." - Misty Copeland

WATCH : IS THIS A GREAT STATE OR WHAT? (2/15/2019) 

Hi! My name is romy owens, and I am an Oklahoma artist living in Enid. 

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 walk-through sculptural with a path and seating. Under this massive sculpture, visitors will find a sanctuary-like setting with a light installation above that presents an artist-interpreted universe of stars overhead. This public art will transform the city block of Park Avenue between Grand and Independence. The location is immediately south of the Stride Bank Conference Center and one block north of Highway 412.


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 happen: a first kiss, a proposal, teenage daydreaming... 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 ThriftMain Street Enid, and Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.

Here are the Reward Levels for the project:


19617416_1551548475344866_r.jpeg
With your support: If I have the honor of receiving your support, I will use the funds to pay for materials, contractors, equipment rental, insurance, and landscaping. Steel and concrete are expensive, ya'll. Every contribution is deeply appreciated, even if it is only a few dollars. That few dollars may help purchase another foot of cable. It takes hundreds of people to fund a project like this. So thank you for your generosity. 

About this fundraiser: As the artist responsible for this project, I receive all the donations made through this platform, minus a credit card transaction processing fee. Please consider paying by check to bypass card processing fees. Please email me (theromyowens @ gmail . com) for my mailing address. Your check will be logged as an offline donation and still count towards the goal. If you donate through GoFundMe, your contribution is considered a gift and is not tax deductible.

Tax deductible donations: If you would like your donation to be tax deductible, do not donate through GoFundMe. Instead, make your donation through Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. They are a non-profit organization whose mission is to support Oklahoma art and artists and their power to enrich communities. Under Her Wing was the Universe is a sponsored project of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.  If you donate through OVAC,  is critical that you note that the donation is designated to Under Her Wing was the Universe in the comments section of the online donation form when you make your donation, or on the memo line of your check. 

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 relatively 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.

...

TIMELINE
Phase 1: Fundraising (April 2017 - PRESENT)
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 (Winter - Summer 2019)

Phase 4: Patron reception (TBD)

Phase 5: Delivery of donor perk items. (At Patron Reception)
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TWO IMPORTANT BITS OF INFO: First, the Ice Cream Social is this Saturday, June 15, at First Presbyterian Church in Enid from 1:30 to 3:30. $10/adult, $5/kid under 12. Help us meet the match offered by First Presbyterian Church of Enid, and help us raise $1,250 on Saturday, which the church will match dollar for dollar. Everyone who donates at least $10 by Saturday at 2:30pm will be entered into a drawing for a precious wee landscape made by me (romy owens). Second, if you want your name to appear on the permanent site signage as a sponsor, you must pledge your donation by June 30. Donors who give $1,000 or more are included in permanent signage. IF YOU WANT TO UPGRADE your donation so you, your family, or your business can be listed as significant supporters of this public art, holla back asap.

Thank you to the following people who have given $1,000 or more to this project:

The Janice and Bert Mackie Family
The Public Art Commission of Enid
.
Park Avenue Thrift
Troy Phillips
.
John Martin
Christy and Scott Northcutt
Enid Arts Council
.
Jennifer Alig
amshot
KC Clifford and David Broyles
CDSA
Fitzsimmons Architects
Diane and Jon Ford
GoFundMe
Ben, Jenny and Brent Haines
Judith and Richard Heinrichs
Molly Helm, Purple Ink Consulting
Shawn and Greg Hodgen
Sharon and David Hume
Leah Jones
Main Street Enid
Jean and Dean McCollough
Dick McKnight
Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition
Melissa Prophet and Jay Taylor
The Rodebush Family
Jill and Jens Ruding
Lin and Ernesto Sanchez
Sandy and Bob Sober
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
Elaine, Kari and Eric Starkey
Kim and Mike Wallace
Amy Young

Hope to see you Saturday! Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for being awesome and supportive and kind and generous!
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The process towards completion looks like this: 1) The frame is complete! Thank you to Kline Sign for all the hard work putting together a remarkably complicated steel structure! 2) Byrum Electric is working to get all the electrical systems in place. 3) Bruggemann's will be fabricating the steel strips that will be welded to the frame to support the cable system. 4) Cameron Singleton will weld those strips on to the frame. 5) Mark Allred and his company Cosmetic Solutions will paint the entire frame once welding is complete. 6) Cable will be installed on the structure when the paint is dry. 7) The concrete path will be poured when the cable is in place. 8) Landscaping will start to happen during the path paving, weather permitting. 9) Signage and seating will go in last.

I got the chance to talk to Curtis Tucker from Enid Buzz about the project. You can watch that 20 minute interview here: https://www.enidbuzz.com/downtown-public-art-project/

Joe Malan wrote a column this week in the Enid News and Eagle about downtown Enid, including Under Her Wing was the Universe. You can read that column here: https://www.enidnews.com/opinion/columns/column-an-observer-from-the-outside/article_3d563bb8-eedb-5609-83e0-2e198932784c.html

We are currently $17,265 away from our fundraising goal. There is an Ice Cream Social fundraiser event next Saturday, June 15 from 1:30 to 3:30 at the First Presbyterian Church of Enid. The church is matching all donations at this event up to $1,250. If you cannot attend, please consider helping us meet this match by donating online through GoFundMe next Saturday morning.

How this balance breaks down: Currently, 725 people have contributed to Under Her Wing was the Universe. If you look at the GoFundMe page for the project, there have been 1,177 donations received. That's because several people have donated more than one time. If everyone who has given already, all 725 of you, donated $25 more, this project would be funded. I know it is not in everyone's capability to give $25 again, but if it is within your means, please consider.

Thank you so much for your continued enthusiasm and support! I look forward to moving through these next steps as quickly as possible to get to the celebration part.

If you have any questions, if you need to know how much you've given so far, if you want to confirm your star names before the map goes to the designer, please let me know. I'm easy to reach via my website, my facebook page, my instagram page, or via email at theromyowens [at] gmail [dot] com.
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SUPER BIG TIME THANK YOU to First Presbyterian Church of Enid who announced this week that they will match funds raised at the June 15 Ice Cream Social up to $1,250 in honor of their 125th anniversary! So... come eat ice cream on 6/15 between 1:30-3:30 at the church, located on Maine St in Enid! Or donate $10 by 6/14 to be entered into the next drawing to receive a piece of art made by romy owens! And while we're updating: 20 people took advantage of the #BLESSED donor perk offer which ended yesterday! After the ice cream social, another donor perk announcement will be made! As always, happy to answer questions! Thank you for your patience and support!
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Big thanks to Joe McCune for sharing this amazing photo of the sculpture, captured on May 24. As you can see in the image, there is a lot of water on the site. Until the ground is dry enough for the Kline trucks, we are at a stand still with construction. Once those two towers are complete, we can move forward with the detail work on the steel which includes welding, painting, and installing the vinyl coated cable and lights. After that, it's paving the concrete path, seating, landscaping, and signage. Woo hoo!
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Read a Previous Update
RC
7 months ago
3
3

Through a lack of understanding, I have been skeptical of your phrase “militant optimist.” Any doubt was laid to rest by your performance at the Enid City Council Study Group. Your command of information was remarkable but most amazing was your poise and grace under fire. I would have gotten defensive and lost the argument. You, instead, were never angry, calmly defended your project and won the day. Hell of a demonstration of optimism. Would you be interested in running for governor?

+ Read More
Romy Owens
24 months ago
3
3

@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!

+ Read More
Kingkini Arend
24 months ago
3
3

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?

+ Read More
J.E. Glaze
25 months ago
2
2

Will the stars in this art installation be an accurate representation of our view of the night sky? I'm just curious about it. And naming stars - will these be stars that are presently unnamed, or will we be tagging our chosen names to already named stars?

+ Read More
Red
14 months ago
1
1

Thank you!

+ Read More
Ron T. Newton
24 months ago

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.

+ Read More
Romy Owens
25 months ago

@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?

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$218,600 of $232,500 goal

Raised by 1,230 people in 26 months
Created April 12, 2017
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FE
$1,250
First Presbyterian Church of Enid
1 day ago (Offline Donation)
SS
$20
Sherry Ball Schoenfeldt
1 day ago (Offline Donation)
SF
$20
Sherry and Bruce Fuksa
1 day ago (Offline Donation)
LP
$15
Lisa Pitsiri
1 day ago (Offline Donation)
ED
$100
Emily and Gordon Denton
1 day ago (Offline Donation)
RD
$25
Richard Denton
1 day ago (Offline Donation)
KL
$20
Katie and Andrew Long
1 day ago (Offline Donation)
RW
$50
Roslyn Wilken
1 day ago (Offline Donation)
LC
$20
Lynne Taylor and Keith Clingmam
1 day ago (Offline Donation)
SL
$10
Susan Lyda
1 day ago (Offline Donation)
RC
7 months ago
3
3

Through a lack of understanding, I have been skeptical of your phrase “militant optimist.” Any doubt was laid to rest by your performance at the Enid City Council Study Group. Your command of information was remarkable but most amazing was your poise and grace under fire. I would have gotten defensive and lost the argument. You, instead, were never angry, calmly defended your project and won the day. Hell of a demonstration of optimism. Would you be interested in running for governor?

+ Read More
Romy Owens
24 months ago
3
3

@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!

+ Read More
Kingkini Arend
24 months ago
3
3

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?

+ Read More
J.E. Glaze
25 months ago
2
2

Will the stars in this art installation be an accurate representation of our view of the night sky? I'm just curious about it. And naming stars - will these be stars that are presently unnamed, or will we be tagging our chosen names to already named stars?

+ Read More
Red
14 months ago
1
1

Thank you!

+ Read More
Ron T. Newton
24 months ago

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.

+ Read More
Romy Owens
25 months ago

@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?

+ Read More
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