Auburn Avenue Bas Reliefs

Brian Owens
Bronze, granite

Four historic figures from Sweet Auburn neighborhood are commemorated for their contributions as community leaders: James Tate, Carrie Steele Logan, Alice Dugged Cary, and Wesley Chapel Redding. “These people had a serious effect on the shape of history,” says Owens. “Fact is, they were just the tip of the iceberg.” Of the four, Owens favorite subject is James Tate who is regarded by many historians as the father of black business in Atlanta.” Tate was 40 years old when they signed the Emancipation Proclamation” explains Owens. “He had been schooled in secret by his master who was also his father. This was risky business and a very serious offense. By the end of his life, Tate was one of the wealthiest blacks in Atlanta, and a source of loans to a lot of black businesses. Sometimes I wonder what I could accomplish if I had that kind of iron.” To Owens, discipline and state of mind are just as important as talent. “We still have to get an education, acquire skills and adapt in a changing world but everything starts with our thoughts and what we believe is possible for us. That’s what I like about Tate. He had been dealt an inferior hand but developed a superior state of mind.”

Artist Brian Owens is a portrait and life sculpture specialist. He works in clay and casts in bronze. Born in Detroit, to a musician and visual artist, Owens’ interest in art began at a young age. At 16, Owens had his first fine art gallery show of drawings in Detroit. A few years after receiving an engineering degree, Owens moved to Florida where he worked in the defense industry. But his creativity was not lost. Owens continued to draw and paint and taught himself to sculpt.

Auburn Ave. NE and Courtland St. NE
Atlanta, GA 30303