Edward Owens was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1949. He began practicing art in 1961 at the Art Institute of Chicago. Initially focused on painting and drawings, Owens created his first work on 8mm film in 1965. He was awarded a scholarship to study w/ experimentalist filmmaker, Gregory Markopoulos, at the University of Chicago. Realizing Owens's natural talent, Markopoulos encouraged Owens to leave school and move to New York.