Sculpture - from public buildings to private homes; Paintings - from murals to miniatures; Oil Portraits - from leaders to loved ones. Owens is a comprehensive, second-generation professional artist who has been working on projects of increasing scope and budget for nearly two decades. His studios are located just north of the Orlando metro area, in central Florida, about 45 minutes from the theme parks in good traffic.
EARLY BIOGRAPHY. Brian R. Owens was born to sculpt and paint! He began his career in the early 90's - first as a sculptor - creating limited edition bronze sculpture largely derived from images that involve his African American heritage. He competed heavily for grants that were available to individual artists, won a number of awards and entered the realm of "public art" with the completion of his first relatively small commission for Volusia County, Florida in early 1996: A 6-foot wide relief sculpture for installation over an archway in a newly constructed regional library.
In June of 1996, Brian R. Owens completed his first substantive public art commission. He competed with about 60 sculptors to win it. This was one of thirteen public art commissions that were part of the City of Atlanta's development campaign in preparation for the Olympic Games in 1996. Owens' contract was to sculpt four African American leaders of great historic significance whose lives were directly connected to Auburn Avenue in the form of bronze bas-relief (low relief) sculpture. These reliefs, located at various points on Auburn Avenue are a permanent feature of downtown Atlanta. As is customary during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, the torch bearing runner began his trek with a run down historic Auburn Ave., past Martin Luther King's tomb and past the bronze reliefs. This second journey into public art revealed that Owens was ready to do more, for it takes more than a good artist to succeed in that realm.
In January of 1999, Brian R. Owens completed his second sculpture for Volusia County, Florida: Another relief sculpture, 5 feet wide this time, for installation over the entrance to a brand new city library. In the years that followed, Owens concentrated less on limited edition sculpture sold on a speculative basis and more on commissioned works of art. He continued to sculpt but made it a point to develope his knowledge of other mediums such as oil paint, acrylic paint, and pastel in order to become a more comprehensive and versatile artist. As he refined his skills using these other mediums, Owens continued to develop as a traditional, representative, classical sculptor. A few of his commissions are listed below:
CURRENT BIOGRAPHY. In October of 2003, Owens completed an over life-size bronze portrait (bronze portrait bust) of author Zora Neale Hurston for the African American Museum of Art located in DeLand, Florida.
In October of 2005, Owens sculpted an over life-size bronze portrait (bronze portrait bust) of Bethune Cookman College Trustee Dr. Larry Handfield that was installed in the new Dr. Larry Handfield Music Annex on campus in Daytona Beach, Florida.
During 2006 Owens was awarded three very competitive grants: The George Sugarman Foundation Grant (for 2006), The Florida Artist Enhancement Grant (for 2006-2007) and the Volusia County Individual Artists Professional Development Grant (for 2006-2007).
In October of 2007, Brian Owens unveiled a bronze portrait bust of NAACP civil rights activist Thomas H. Poole (aka T.H. Poole) in the City of Eustis, Florida that is now on 10-year loan to the Lake County Historical Museum. Click here to see the sculpture and read Owens' account of this singular leader. Proclamations recognizing T.H. Poole for his many accomplishments are also included in this site. Click here to review 2 of them.
In 2010, Owens completed a series of essays connected to the sculpture commission that he was working on at the time: The St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Monument. One of the essays was later reprinted in the St. Augustine Record. As an amatuer historian, Owens takes a special interest in projects like this. The Foot Soldiers of St. Augustine are credited with having helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Read more about it in Black Swan
In May of 2011, Brian Owens unveiled a bronze sculpture in memory of the St. Augustine Foot Soldiers, who helped advance the cause of civil rights in 1963 and 1964, in a public park named the "Plaza De La Constitucion" in historic, downtown St. Augustine. You can get a sense of how the project like this is done from photos taken as it was completed. This statue was commisioned by the St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Remembrance Project, Inc. Learn more about this monument on Wikipedia.
In November of 2010, Owens unveiled his largest group painting yet - a montage painting done in oils measuring 4 by 6 feet, commissioned by entreprenuer and retired Pittsburgh Pirate, Dorian Boyland. The complex oil on canvas took 1-1/2 years to complete. Click here to see it.
In June of 2011, Brian Owens unveiled his oil portrait of retired educator, civil rights activist and entreprenuer Mrs. Loiuse Thornton Hollowell of Atlanta, GA. Mrs. Hollowell is the widow of Mr. Donald L. Hollowell, who was known as Georgia's foremost civil rights attorney in the 1950's and 60's. Click here to see the oil portrait.
In July of 2011, Owens commenced work on a life-size bronze figure of Dr. Arthur Herald Parker, an educator and founder of what ultimately became Parker High School in 1900 in Birmingham, Alabama. This statue, commissioned by the Birmingham Board of Education, is still in progress but you can see the clay model and learn more about this project by viewing or downloading a pdf file. Just Click here.
OIL PORTRAITURE. Brian Owens is an accomplished oil portrait painter as well, with many commissions to his credit. He has never had a portrait delivery refused. In the begining, Brian Owens saw the art of portraiture as a way of expanding his offering to clients. Now, Brian Owens sees portraiture in both oil and pastel as an unfolding creative continent that still offers infinite artistic possibilities. His portraits generally fall into two price catagories: Adult portraits and Childrens portraits. He is also available to paint group portraits, family portraits and corporate portraits.
OIL DRAWINGS. Brian Owens now offers a new twist (for him) on portraiture: Oil Drawings. These are essentialy oil paintings done in one color; a wonderful oil color imported from Driebergen Holland. This method of painting is also known as "underpainting" or "grisaille" and was invented by the Masters of traditional painting centuries ago. For a more complete explanation and examples of work, please click on DRAWING
TRAVELLING TO CLIENTS. Within Florida, Brian Owens is most active in Volusia County, Seminole County, Orange County and the Palm Beach Counties. His commissioned artwork is installed at various public locations in Deltona, DeLand and Daytona Beach, Florida. Brian Owens considers the entire state to be "his backyard" and often travels to clients. Although Brian Owens resides just north of Orlando in central Florida, he is able to work with clients well outside his state and region. Brian Owens has worked with corporate clients such as Dayn-Mark Advertising in Atlanta and has private clients from West Palm Beach to Michigan.
Brian Owens can help you select the accessories needed to properly display your art such as pedestals, display cases and display boxes. Or, if you prefer he can design-build a solution to suit you. Brian Owens can install your sculptures onto marble or granite bases and assist with the installation, especially for sculpture located out of doors.
Do you have a project that is art-related that can use additional strength and art direction? If so, Brian Owens now offers his service as a freelance art director. If you like, he will see your project with "new eyes" and bring new ideas to the table to move your project forward faster and better. Brian Owens has a much larger portfolio than is offered in this web site, that demonstrates a diverse skill-set, and a deep technical knowledge of fabrication and of various methods and materials, such as fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP), multipiece rubber molds, resins, polystyrene foam (white foam), steel weldments and structures.
Brian Owens is offering basic art lessons and instruction in the following areas: Portrait drawing and oil portrait painting, basic drawing, perspective drawing, pastel, sculpting the figure in clay, sculpting the portrait bust in clay and mold making. Learn the basics of how to draw, how to paint and how to sculpt. His basic art lessons and instruction may be held at his studio or yours - serving all of central Florida. Click here to check out his new Private Art Lessons and Instruction page.
Owens' Art Services include moldmaking. He has extensive experience using traditional methods and materials to make the types of molds that artists rely on. Learn more about this service by reading these moldmaking articles: Article 1 and Article 2.
Owens' Art Services include face casting (facial casting) as a visual tool in preparation for plastic surgery. He can sculpt your face the way that you want it to look.
HELPFUL ARTICLES. For many of his private clients, working with Brian Owens was their first experience commissioning an artist to create a new artwork. He provides some common-sense advice in an article entitled "How to Hire a Sculptor".