ENID, Okla. — “Under Her Wing was the Universe,” an ongoing $255,000 downtown art project, receives a lot of attention, good and bad, creator Romy Owens said.
The installation has been somewhat divisive, with some taking issue with its abstract appearance and its cost, Owens said, but aside from a $30,000 public arts grant from the city of Enid, all funding has been crowd sourced.
The last two years have made her skin thicker “that’s for damn sure,” she said, but she’s not alone in her enthusiasm for the upcoming installation.
That so many have given a dollar here and there, or in some cases thousands of dollars, makes it clear there’s an appreciation for the project in Enid, Owens said, or at least an appreciation for the arts in general.
“There are people who really, really want to see this succeed.”
The piece’s Gofundme page has reached $231,895 out of its $240,000 goal, as of Monday, July 22. “Under Her Wing” has made Owens into a practiced fundraiser, and despite the negativity she encounters as the face of, and the mind behind, an often-scrutinized public work, she feels supported.
Owens’ unique design, form and shape for the project have inspired donors and detractors alike, and it’s not an area she wanted to compromise on.
“You really want to make something that is so unique to Enid that you’re never going to see anything like this anywhere else,” she said.
Public art can do a lot of good for a town, said Kelly Tompkins, Main Street Enid director and Public Arts Commission member.
“Public art, especially large-scale, unusual pieces such as ‘Under Her Wing was the Universe’ send the signal that creativity and innovation are welcome here,” Tompkins said. “I didn’t feel that growing up in Enid, but we are becoming more and more vibrant, realizing what it takes to attract talented workforce, and our community is getting fantastic promotion for…