bronze sculpture header
Sign-up for Newsletter
Selected Collections
Selected Commissions
Selected Exhibitions
Art Periodicals, where Referenced
Art Education
Other Online Listings
Selected Press and Media

Click to Download a 1- Page Bio
(PDF file)

Ask Brian Owens how long it took him to complete a specific work of art and he will answer "about 35 years". He can't remember when his journey as an artist began. His earliest memory is of himself, drawing. Born to a musician and a visual artist, his interests centered around art and ideas. At the age of 16 he had his first two-man show (with considerable help from others) at a fine art gallery in his hometown of Detroit. As he grew, his interests changed and he moved to Florida where he worked in the defense industry. His creative side slowly reasserted itself, followed by a gradual recognition of himself as someone who was born to sculpt and paint. "Being an artist" he said "is not what I do, its what I am".

Owens began the 90's as a full-time fine artist with the release of his first limited edition bronze sculptures. By the end of the decade he had completed sculpture commissions for individuals, two municipal government buildings and had won a public art commission from the Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta (CODA). This involved the creation of four historic bronze relief sculptures that are permanently installed on Auburn Avenue in the neighborhood where Martin Luther King was raised. His father Carl C. Owens - a successful illustrator - relocated to Atlanta during the 90's. Brian saw this as an opportunity to build upon the foundation of skills he developed earlier in life and studied traditional portraiture under his father.

During the 2000's he shifted focus from "speculative sculpture" in favor of sculpture commissions while expanding his self-directed education. His independent studies under other painters took him to New York, Philiadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta again. By 2010, Owens had come full circle as a well educated classical artist with a hard-won comphrehensive set of skills and a record of successful commissions.

"We understand life only through personal experience, but this can take decades. The problem is we just don't live long enough. Some commissions take a year or more to complete, so I'm careful about the types of projects that I take on now."

In 2011 Owens completed a bronze memorial sculpture honoring the St. Augustine Foot Soldiers, now installed in the Plaza de la Constitucion in the heart of historic St. Augustine, Florida. In 2013 he completed a life-size bronze figure of educator Dr. Arthur Herald Parker for the Birmingham City Board of Education in Alabama. In 2017 he completed an over life-size bronze of civil rights attorney Frankie Muse Freeman and installed it Kiener Plaza, a park in downtown St. Louis, MO.

When asked "what does the future hold?", Owens avoided predictions, saying "this type of work does not lend itself to strategic planning ... Leonard Cohen said it best when he revealed "I am not in control of this enterprise" ... I have other interests as well ... writing, film-making, travel". Owens is certain however, that his best work is yet to come. "In truth, I've just scratched the surface. I'll need several decades to punch through my list of things to do. I'm going to live to be 95 or die trying".
The maker of bronze sculpture returns to the easil
Brian R. Owens, 2003
  brian owens at work
Brian R. Owens, 2012
Click for Owens Curriculum Vitae
(PDF file)
Awards and Grants

Portrait Society of America - Member's Only Competition, 2013
"First Merit" Award (Category: Commissioned Portrait in Sculpture)

The 2012 David C. Brotemarkle Award
Awarded by the Florida Historical Society

Creative Capital Foundation - Professional Development Program, 2012
Advanced Artists Workshop

Portrait Society of America - Scholarship to attend the Art of the Portrait
Washington, D.C. - April 23 - 26, 2009

Creative Capital Foundation - Professional Development Program, 2008
Artists Workshop

George Sugarman Foundation Grant, 2006

Volusia County Individual Artist Professional Development Grant, 2006-2007

Florida Artist Enhancement Grant, 2006-2007 (grant no. 07-2186)

Florida Artist Enhancement Grant, 2005-2006 (grant no. 06-2136)
A competitive grant awarded by the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs

New Forms Florida Program grant, 1996

New Forms Florida Program grant, 1994
A competitive grant awarded by the the South Florida Art Center, Miami Beach, Florida and funded by the NEA, Rockefeller and Andy Warhol Foundations. This grant has been discontinued.

Winner - Best of Show, The Louis Mailou Jones juried art exhibit, Museum of African American Art, Tampa, Florida, October-December 1992. Now closed.
Selected Collections

City of St. Louis, Missouri
MSU, Lansing, Michigan
City of Birmingham, Alabama
City of St. Augustine, Florida
Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach, Florida
African American Museum of the Arts, DeLand, Florida
City of Atlanta, Georgia
Volusia County, Florida
Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia
The Dr. Herbert and Dr. Darlene Charles Collection, Atlanta, Georgia
Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw Valley, Michigan
Dr. Catherine Lowe Collection, West Palm Beach, Florida
J.M. Moran Family Enterprises, Boca Raton, Florida
Selected Commissions

Public Art, bronze, for NAACP St. Louis Chapter, St. Louis, MO, Nov. 2017
Public Art, bronze & steel, for MSU College of Law, Lansing, MI, Nov. 2017 (in collaboration with Richard Bennett)
Public Art, cold cast, for the Family of former Prime Minister Ptolemy Reid, Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Apr. 2017
Public Art, hyper-real portrait, for Brevard Museum of History and Natural Sciences, Cocoa, FL, Nov. 2016
Public Art, bronze, for Birmingham Board of Education, Birmingham AL, Aug. 2013
Public Art, bronze, for St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Remembrance Project, Inc., May 2011
Public Art, bronze, for Robert W. Saunders Public Library Foundation, Inc., Tampa FL, Feb. 2011
Private commission, bronze, on 10-year exhibit at Lake County Historical Museum, Tavares, FL, Oct. 2007
Public Art, bronze, for Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach, FL, Mar. 2006
Public Art, bronze, for African American Museum of the Arts, DeLand, FL, Oct. 2003
Public Art, bonded bronze, for Volusia County, at DeBary Library, DeBary, FL, Jan. 1999
Public Art, pastel portraits, for African American Museum of the Arts, DeLand, FL, Jan. 1998
Public Art, bronze, Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta (CODA), City of Atlanta, GA, Jun. 1996
Public Art, bonded bronze, for Volusia County, at Deltona Regional Library, DeBary, FL, Jan. 1996
Private commissions, for the offices of Dr. Catherine Lowe, West Palm Beach, FL, 1992-1995
Private commission, bronze, for Tangelo Baptist Church, Orlando, FL, Jun. 1993
Public Art, bronze, for Virginia Power Inc., for donation to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, Richmond, VA, Feb. 1993
Selected Exhibitions

Group exhibit, Polasek Museum, Winter Park, Florida, May - July, 2013
Three-man exhibit, Tavares City Hall, Tavares, Florida, Feb. 2006
One-man exhibit, Manatee Community College, Venice, Florida, Feb. 1997
Two-man exhibit, Art League of Daytona Beach, Florida, Apr. 1996
Group exhibit, Palm Beach County Community College, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Feb. 1996
Two-man exhibit, Seminole Community College, Sandford, Florida, Feb.-Mar. 1995
One-man exhibit, by Virginia Power, Inc. (now called Dominion, Inc.), Richmond Omni Hotel, Richmond, VA, Feb. 1995
Juried group exhibit, Orlando City Hall Terrace Gallery, Orlando, Florida, Apr.-May 1994
Two-man exhibit, Black History Museum and Cultural Center, Richmond, VA, Feb.-Apr. 1994
Group exhibit, Orlando City Hall, Terrace Gallery, Orlando, Florida, Jan.-Mar. 1993
Group exhibit, Bethune-Cookman College, H. W. Lee, Jr. Gallery, Daytona Beach, Florida, Jan.-Feb. 1993
Juried group exhibit, Museum of African American Art, Tampa, Florida, Oct.-Dec. 1992 (now closed)
Two-man exhibit, Zora Neale Hurston Museum, Eatonville, Florida, Sep.-Oct. 1992
Two-man exhibit, Mt. Dora Center for the Arts, Mt. Dora, Florida, Feb.-Mar. 1992
Group exhibit, Northwood Institute, West Palm Beach, Florida, Nov.-Dec. 1991
Group exhibit, Palm Beach Arts Council, West Palm Beach, Florida, Nov. 1991
Affiliations and Memberships

Portrait Society of America, Washington, D.C.

Fractured Atlas, New York, N.Y.

Florida Sculptors Guild, Casselberry, Florida
(This is a new guild that Owens is proud to have helped establish.
The Guild was founded in the fall of 2007.)
Selected Periodicals, where Referenced

Adventures in Florida Archaeology - 2016
Premere Issue, 2016, Florida Historical Society Archaeological Institute, the cover and page 2

Journal of the Portrait Society of America
1st Quarter 2014, Volume XVI, Issue No. 62, page 10

Journal of the Portrait Society of America
Volume XIV, Issue No. 55, page 14

Journal of the Portrait Society of America
2nd Quarter 2011, Volume XIII, Issue No. 52, page 15

Journal of the Portrait Society of America
3rd Quarter 2010, Volume XII, Issue No. 49, page 15

Journal of the Portrait Society of America
3rd Quarter 2009, Volume XI, Issue No. 45, page 12

Journal of the Portrait Society of America
1st Quarter 2008, Volume X, Issue No. 39, page 12

Art in America
March 2007, page 206

The International Review of African American Art
"17-1" (Volume 17 Number 1, Year 2000), page 35.
produced by Hampton University Museum, Hampton, VA.

Orlando Arts Magazine
Winter Issue, Feb-March 1999, page 27. Central Florida's Journal of Culture, produced by Orlando Sentinel Communications and United Arts of Central Florida.
Publications, Contributed To

Reflections from ZORA! Celebrating 25 Years of the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities
2014, Florida Historical Society Press
ISBN: 978-1-886104-68-6ISBN: 978-1-886104-68-6

Gus! Magazine
Published by The St. Augustine Record
April 2011

Art Education

Art education developed through private instruction, independent and non-matriculated study, workshops, conferences and professional development programs.
Has studied under Carl C. Owens, Marvin Mattelson, Kerry Dunn and others.
Online, where Referenced

Entrepreneur the Arts
An auto-biographical sketch for a group that explores innovative business strategies for the arts.

Description of the St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Monument

Art Majeur

Orange County Government, Florida
Downloadable PDF files featuring artists who work in Orange County, Florida. Organized by name.

Volusia County Artist's Registry
Volusia County Government, Florida. A listing of artist's based in Volusia County, Florida. Organized by name.

Ask Art
Look for Owens in "Ask Art" in 2014.

The Arts Web
Look for Owens in the 2006 "Art Spotlight Archive".

The George Sugarman Foundation
Look for Owens under "Past Recipients" and "2006".
Selected Press and Media

Click here to visit the Press / Media page.
home l biography l sculpture l portraits l drawings l paintings l pastel l press & media l articles by Owens l services l private l links l what's new? I contact info
© 2004 Brian R. Owens
. . .
brian r. owens home biography sculpture portraits drawings paintings pastel press articles by b.r.o. services links links what's new contact telephone