Wabash College has announced interactive artist Owen Lowery as the Artist-in-Residence for spring 2024. Lowery will open an installation of his work on Wednesday, Jan. 24, in the Fine Arts Center.
As part of the opening, Lowery will discuss what motivates him to create his interactive, inclusive digital art at 12 p.m. in the FAC’s Korb Classroom. Later that day Wabash will host an opening reception from 4-6 p.m. Attendees can chat with Owen and be among the first to interact with his captivating works while enjoying refreshments.
Lowery’s mission as an artist is to create situations that foster and reward curiosity. He prioritizes Universal Design in his work, hoping all people—regardless of age, height, background, or accessibility situation—can engage meaningfully.
The Pittsburg-based artist aims to create work with communities rather than for them, seeing people not as an audience, but as integral to the interactive medium itself as catalysts to the artwork and collaborators in its development. Because of that goal, his work is often found in non-traditional art spaces such as libraries, community centers, hospitals, halfway houses, psychiatric care facilities, maker spaces, education spaces, and community-oriented programming.
“I see art as existing within situations rather than physical artwork itself,” Lowery said. “The art comes alive in moments when curiosity takes over and deeper exploration begins. I hope people take a little of this curiosity away with them into their daily lives.”
Lowery holds an MFA in communication media arts with a focus in interactive media and museum studies from Ohio University and a bachelor’s degree in film studies from Columbia College Chicago. He also completed the Comedy Writing Program from Second City Theater.
While in residence, Lowery is transforming the Eric Dean Gallery into an interactive installation space and prototyping workshop where visitors can engage with his process, their own curiosity, and aid in the development of new artworks alongside the artist. The gallery will host open sessions with Lowery each Thursday evening of the exhibit from 7-9 p.m. All ages are welcome to interact with the exhibit and the artist while he is at work.
Lowery is also pairing with community partners at the Carnegie Museum of Montgomery County and Crawfordsville District Public Library to bring his work directly into the community. School groups will visit the gallery each week for hands-on activities with Lowery and to interact with his immersive exhibit. These trips are funded by a Lilly Foundation Community Partnership Grant that supports bussing students from Montgomery County schools to Wabash College.
The Eric Dean Gallery is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday 7-9 p.m., and Saturday 2-6 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.
Any teachers interested in bringing students to the exhibition should contact Annie Strader, Chair of the Art Department and Director of Galleries, at firstname.lastname@example.org.