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Joyce Owens

Ragdale Fellow Joyce Owens is a painter from Philadelphia, now a Chicagoan who creates 3-D and 2-D masks/assemblages. Her award-winning art has been exhibited on four continents, including NATO in Brussels, The African Union, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Monrovia, Liberia; Mbabane, Swaziland and in a traveling exhibition, "I American", curated by Sergio Gomez that was shown in a museum in Italy. Her art has been shown nationally from coast to coast. Some commissions include: the Blackstone Hotel and the Sofitel Hotel in Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center's "Not Just Another Pretty Face", TV show host Ed Gordon, and others including a recent portrait of Gwendolyn Brooks for the library named for Brooks at Chicago State University.  

Owens has earned two 1st Prizes at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago from artist Faith Ringgold and Margaret Hawkins,  Artnews correspondent. The two competitions had the most submissions in the history of the 25 year old gallery. Owens was awarded 1st Prize at the Museum of Science and Industry's annual Black Creativity art exhibition.

Owens'earned an (MFA) from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut and BFA, from Howard University in Wash., D.C. Some faculty who influenced her at Yale were Lester Johnson and Bernard Chaet, William Bailey and Al Held as well as musician Willie Ruff. While at Howard University she studied with preeminent African American artists and scholars who influenced her including David Driskell, the late internationally known Lois Mailou Jones, sculptor Ed Love who was Owens’ mentor until his premature death, historian and painter Dr. James Porter and print-maker and painter, James L. Wells. California artist Leo Robinson was an important guide during undergraduate years as was Lloyd McNeill.

Known as a figurative artist deciding the most important work she can do is to address issues around race and gender.

Owens left her position as curator and associate professor at Chicago State University to pursue art full-time. 


View Joyce's Art