Gary Owen Named Artist of the Week on The Nashville Sign

The Arts & Business Council, Blackbird Media, and F&M Bank have teamed up to present the Artist of the Week on The Nashville Sign. This week’s featured artist is Gary M. Owen.

Gary M. Owen is a self-taught painter from the middle Tennessee area. He began painting around the age of 12-years-old, placed art in an annual juried art competition at the State Fair, and later joined a local art guild, all by his late teens. After high school, he was hired as a staff sign artist for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Nashville and later worked as a sign artist for trade shows and expo companies in the Southeast. But by the mid-eighties, the art of free-hand lettering was being replaced by computers and wide-format printing. He re-entered tech school studying desktop publishing and has worked the last 30 years as a graphic designer in the wine & spirits industry. He has always painted and placed art in venues, restaurants and juried art shows along the way. His style of art ranges from portraiture to still life painting, and he uses a non-traditional, oil-based enamel in reference to the paint he used as a sign artist painting billboards and walls when he was younger.

“I am committed every day to paint, draw or sketch and to improve over what I created yesterday or the day before,” said Owen. “I learn from myself and criticize my work to become a better artist. I see trends in art around me but try not to get caught up in what’s popular and focus on what I want to paint and hope people will understand my art.”

Learn more about Gary M. Owen’s work on his website.

Want to be featured on The Nashville Sign? Visual artists working in any medium, who are members* of the Arts & Business Council at the Basic Level ($30 annually) or above, are eligible to apply for Artist of the Week on The Nashville Sign.

*Those unable to become members due to financial barriers can be granted a waiver. Contact us at to be confidentially considered for a waiver.