Tom Owen's "Raise Your Voice"

"Raise Your Voice" is artist Tom Owen's encouragement to all people "to speak truth, to bring light."

LAKE CITY, S.C. – Words of truth create meaning and movement, said artist Tom Owen.

Owen encourages all people to leverage this power of truth and “Raise Your Voice” – the phrase doubling as his charge to humanity and title of his 2019 ArtFields piece.

“This work continues my exploration of using color and form to reflect the critical importance of each of us to use our individual voices to speak truth, to bring light,” Owen said in his artist statement.

The psychology of human experience and color often influence Owen’s works, including “Raise Your Voice.” Owen said that people’s words and actions are not always easy or tidy expressions.

“We experience internal, personal or national conversations all the time that spill into each of our present moments, shaping our interactions and social landscapes, be it home, office or in the public square,” Owen said.

In these moments, the truth has the power to scatter darkness, Owen said. A bright painting hanging in So-Lace Boutique might just inspire ArtFields attendees to speak the truth boldly in their social worlds.

Owen said he is happy to experience his first-time ArtFields exhibition.

“I feel honored,” Owen said. “There are so many amazing artists. I am humbled to be among them.”

Owen has a fondness for juried competitions. He said that acceptance in a small local juried art show in the fifth grade gave him the confidence to never stop creating. After the show, Owen said, he turned part of his family’s garage into a studio.

Always eager to learn, Owen said his artistic process has changed over time. He describes his early work as “plan-ful” and tight.

“The work was beautifully rendered but did not have much life,” Owen said.

Approximately two years ago, Owen started doing encaustic painting, a medium that has no second chances, Owen said. Mistakes are erased with a heat gun.

“That time of [working with encaustics] freed me up to really be expressive and have fun when I paint, to trust my intuition,” Owen said.

Now, Owen said, he uses any accessible color type to cover a canvas, whether that is paints, crayons or pastels.

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