August 14-September 14, 2011: Works by Luisa Lang Owen
When artists speak about their own work and that of others, they often hint to an activity, an awareness revealed in the act of creating itself. Though the work of art speaks eloquently for itself, presenting the activity involved, we sometimes need a verbal confirmation, an explanation of the work involved. Artists usually like talking about their work. Since they engage in the art activity not solely for themselves, but do so for the good of the larger community, they need the community to affirm the truth revealed. Some artists, however, do not talk about their work at all, even when they collaborate with one another in the creation of a single work. They put their trust, instead, in the activity, the dialogue, the communal experience itself.
It is often said (by artists, philosophers, and even theologians) that the ongoing work of art involves an intense awareness; that art offers insight through truthful dialogue with the world, affirming the spiritual aspect of being in the world. It may be said that art transcends, not just the medium used, but time and space, the physical world itself, offering insight, truth and beauty, seeing the act of art as spirit revealed.
Art, for me, is a spiritual activity, primarily an opportunity for insight into the world of which
I am a part. Doing such work allows me to participate in a kind of dialogue. I seek this dialogue when “seeing” the works of others. The insight gained through my own work allows me to participate in the communal experience. I rejoice in the work of others. My own work, as well as my participation in the work of others, further hones my awareness, allowing me to participate in an immediacy with a bit of eternity in it. I see the art activity as an act of daring, daring to reveal the spirit within us. And sometimes I see the collective work of artists as an act of love.
About the Artist
Luisa Lang Owen, born in Yugoslavia before the war, came to America in 1951. A practicing artist who lives in Yellow Springs, she is a professor emerita of art education at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, where she taught from 1970-2000. Ms. Owen was a member of the Art Students League of New York and a student at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, before gaining her M.Ed. from Wright State and Ph.D. from Ohio State University.
Luisa is also a published author and active writer. Her moving personal memoir of her childhood experiences in a concentration camp from 1945-48, entitled Casualty of War; A Childhood Remembered was published by Texas A&M university Press in 2003. Her latest work is a book of poetry in German, Des Bischofs Kleid.