Sherry Owens: Promise Me The Earth
”Remnants of personal stories, visions and observations in nature are the driving forces in my work. I believe what we see and do in our daily lives leaves a mark on our planet. Currently, we are depleting our natural resources and altering the environment, resulting in climate change and the disappearance of animal species. It is the direct impact of human activities on the natural world which is often expressed in my artistic practice. Since my early days as a weaver, I have always been concerned with natural materials and their value within the creative process.”
– Sherry Owens
For over 30 years Sherry Owens has used the sinuous crepe myrtle tree to tell her story – of the Texas landscape, of death, renewal, beauty, and of today’s growing environmental concerns. Owens begins by collecting discarded trees, whittling, carving, waxing, painting, dyeing and burnishing the branches before she assembles them with pegs, baling wire and other material choices. As free-form as the work appears, Owens creates detailed drawings of each piece as a starting point. The narrative of each sculpture is decided well in advance of its assembly; the subsequent choice of each stick, each gesture, and each connecting point follows the marks of the drawing into the third dimension. Sherry Owens began her profession as a weaver. “I’m really still a weaver,” she says, “only now I’m weaving with sticks.” But a visit to her studio proves that Owens’ process and product is not that simple.
Sherry Owens lives and works in Dallas, TX and received a BFA from Southern Methodist University. Her work has been shown throughout Texas and the southwest; in 2018, she completed a two-person site specific installation at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum in Austin, Texas, and was included in Commanding Space: Women Sculptors of Texas, at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2017, Owens mounted a solo exhibition at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, and the Martin Museum of Art at Baylor University. Owens has exhibited internationally in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, India, Peru, Turkey, and was recently included in The First Crosscurrent Yokohama-Texas International Artists Exchange Show 2019 at Kanagawa Prefectural Gallery in Yokohama, Japan.
Sherry Owens has completed several large public art projects, including a large-scale bronze through the Love Field Modernization Program at Love Field Airport in Dallas, TX and a monumental commission for the Ben E. Keith Company, also in Dallas. Owens is a former president of the Texas Sculpture Association, has served on various art boards and was a co-founder of the Emergency Artists’ Support League. She was the recipient of the Moss/Chumley North Texas Artist Award in 1999, was the West Texas Triangle artist in 2010 with a comprehensive survey at five west Texas museums, and received the Artist/Craftsman Award from the AIA Dallas in 2014.