If you missed the news on Romy Owens community photo project “Look At Me. Don’t Look At Me,” worry not. Here’s what you need to know.
1. It is free! Yes, really.
The Skirvin Hotel decided to try out an Artist in Residence program. Which is a bold move on their part, since it involved shutting down their boutique shop and hosting a working artist in the newly cleared space. Enter local photographer Romy Owens and her ever changing photo booth. The aim of the project is to document the community around The Skirvin Hotel for one year.
2. What you can expect.
You walk in with your friends, your sweetie, or by your sweet-old-lonesome. Take a look around. Owens has set up the space for you to explore. Every so often she changes it up, old projects and new projects hang off walls and windows. Don’t be surprised when you arrive and see her working with a needle and thread as she hand-stitches photos together. Once you’ve glanced around, you’ll talk to Owens about the project. She’ll tell you how she ended up with the current backdrop. One month it was fabric she discovered on a trip to Morocco. From there she’ll lead you over to her set up, where you or you (+ whoever) figure out what kind of pose to strike for four frames. You can do anything. Don’t look to Owens for suggestions though, she prefers you be organic. Tell a story, be crazy, look serious – whatever strikes your fancy in the moment. Then you’ll hear: click, click, click, click. And boom. The magic is over. You could probably do as many as you like, but either way the results will later go up on the Facebook page thanks to Romy’s assistant Brandon. The image is yours to download and print off to keep forever.
3. Something you didn’t know about Romy Owens assuming you had been keeping track of this project.
Romy Owens: No one’s asked me how hard it is to work in public. I’m used to working at home. It’s not hard to work it in this space. But it is hard to watch people walk up to my door read about the project and then walk away. Or you see the people who were looking for the old retail space, and once they discover it is no longer here, they look really disappointed and then they walk away. You know this project is new, and the people who do come in have a nice exchange and good experience. But it is very strange to work in a space where you can see people’s reactions to your presence. It’s a big adjustment. I know it’s not personal, but it is really different from working alone in a studio.
4. Hours this week.
Owens is a working artist. In addition to documenting the community in the studio space provided by The Skirvin Hotel, she also goes out to speak with media about Look At Me. Don’t Look At Me. She may also be out snapping photos for other art projects too. So it helps to check in to see what her hours are like. This week they said they’ll be open from 9-5 on Thursday and Friday 9-2.
Learn more about Romy Owens by watching this video: