Chicago-based artist, teacher and curator Joyce Owens Anderson, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia. Owens’ mother, Eloise Owens, was a trained opera singer; who encouraged her daughter to become an art teacher. Nevertheless, Owens attended Howard University, where she earned her B.F.A. degree in art. Owens then attended Yale University, earning her M.F.A. degree in painting. After working various jobs, including arts and crafts director, art teacher and producer for Philadelphia’s CBS television station; Owens moved to Chicago, Illinois. She then spent eight years working for WBBM-TV, CBS Channel 2 in Chicago as the graphic arts coordinator for news. Owens did additional work for the company as a graphic artist, researcher and news assistant; all the time painting and exhibiting her art.