Romy Owens displays mixed-media works \"The Reconstructionist Effort\"at the state Capitol

"The Reconstructionist Effort" by Romy Owens
North Gallery of the state Capitol
2300 N. Lincoln
Free reception 4 p.m. Thursday
While some may see a dilapidated alley as an eyesore, Romy Owens sees art.

Owens, a photographer and Oklahoma native, developed scenes of urban environments into stories for her new series, titled "The Reconstructionist Effort," which is on display in the North Gallery of the state Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln.

Her work is a collection of photographs fashioned together into a grid of urban scenes. She takes the faded and cracked paint, dusty sidewalks and rusty railings of a city and, through hand-scoring and needlework, weaves them into a quilted portrait. The final piece can be described as a geometric display of chaos and order.

Owens believes the weathered details compare to wrinkles on a grandparent's face; the lines are important symbols of history, which she captures with her camera.

"You look at an elderly person or someone who is older, and they show the signs of time: age, wrinkles, creases. The same is true for architecture," she said. "With every crack or bruise, it's part of the history the building."

Originally from Enid, Owens lived in the Netherlands and New York City before returning to Oklahoma City. Here, she decided to pursue art full-time and received a master's in arts from Oklahoma City University in 2005. As an artist and curator, she's been a part of several high-profile local exhibitions, including a recent showing at the annual "Momentum."

There will be a free reception 4 p.m. Thursday to celebrate the exhibit, which is on display through May 16. For more information, visit "?Luke Atkinson

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