Oklahoma City artists really have no idea just how good they have it. At the most, many local artists will be lambasted by nosy social media obsessives for painting a dumb octopus on a public wall. In Enid, however, they don’t even wait for an artist to finish before decrying it as Satanic and other diabolical missives.
Artist Romy Owens has spent the past two years hard at work on her latest creation, the Go Fund Me funded public art installation “Under Her Wing was the Universe” for the city of Enid. While Owen claims the art-piece is a tribute to, in a word or two, mother and mentors, it appears that some Enid city leaders and other local destroyers of creativity, instead, believe it to be a tribute to the Lord...the Lord of the Damned?
An Oklahoma artist who has spent the last two years designing and working on a public art installation could possibly see her work go unfinished.“I don’t really let my mind go there,” artist Romy Owens said. “I don’t know what I would do if it got torn down.”Owens said she had to make it through initial pushback from the public before even breaking ground on her project.“There’s been some interpretation that Under Her Wing was the Universe maybe means something that it doesn’t. It’s really about relationships. It’s not a pagan monument. It’s not a place for the occult,” Owens said.
Of course, publicly the Enid city leaders are claiming it’s a matter of the piece “taking longer than expected.” Commissioner Jonathan Waddell had that and a few things to say at a recent August meeting, including speaking about the need for the board to “analyze” whether they have or have not made a good decision with choosing "Universe" as their current project.
But, living in Oklahoma—if you’re an artist, writer or otherwise occupied with the arts you're probably well aware of this—if it’s not a 138 feet high crucifix on the side of the highway, you know it’s not "real" art.
Which is funny, because the project is quite innocuous, really: a small area that will mimic a starlit sky, designed to remind us of the people in our lives that have help us through the tough times. Surely, that’s a more powerful piece of art than the tribute to thievery, rape and murder in downtown, otherwise known as the Centennial Land Run Monument which, I can promise, Satan definitely did have his hand in and, even deeper, up that.