Ogden Names New Place of the Arts with Poetry, Music and Celebration | News, Sports, Jobs


Deborah Wilber, Standard Examiner

People gather at the new Dumke Arts Plaza for a grand opening ceremony in downtown Ogden on Friday, December 3, 2021.

OGDEN – Hundreds of people turned out on Friday night for the much anticipated opening of Dumke Arts Plaza in the creative district of Nine Rails, at the corner of historic 25th Street and Ogden Avenue.

After a few words from the emcee R. Brandon Long, host and producer of the “Ogden Outdoor Adventure Show”, Abe Smith, assistant professor of English at Weber State University, Ogden poet laureate, captivated the audience with a poem that he created for the people of Ogden. .

Speakers Jeremy Dunn of Weber County RAMP (Recreation, Arts, Museums and Parks); Claire Dumke Ryberg, President of the Dr. Ezekiel R. Foundation and Edna Wattis Dumke and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ogden Contemporary Arts; and Cori Anderson, among others, took to the podium to celebrate the completion of what was an empty dirt field just a year ago.

Inspired by the landscape of the region, the design of the square was led by design firm Sasaki Associates in conjunction with Ogden-based companies IO LandArch and Union Creative Agency. The outer gallery, with 700 cubic meters of concrete, was designed to inspire creativity, elevate diverse perspectives, and anchor Ogden as a hub of contemporary art.

The Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery at Weber State University and the Department of Visual Art and Design hosted the inaugural exhibition featuring a selection of works by American sculptor Chakaia Booker. Anderson said she viewed Booker’s exhibition, titled “Revive,” as meaningful and empowering art.

Deborah Wilber, Standard Examiner

A crowd listens to Ogden Poet Laureate Abe Smith at the grand opening ceremony at Dumke Arts Plaza in downtown Ogden on Friday, December 3, 2021.

Dancers from the Ogden MoveMeant collective presented a ribbon-cutting final near members of the Dumke Foundation, the square’s main funder after donating more than $ 2.2 million. The foundation has partnered with RAMP, Ogden City, WSU and Ogden Contemporary Arts to create a space for the community to engage in various art forms.

A live performance by Latin rock band Infusion Rock and C. Valentina was heard from afar as people walked towards their vehicles. Color lit up the night from the plaza and its permanent sculptural room, the “Beacon,” which now spans 25th Street.

The “Beacon” sculpture spans 25th Street during the grand opening ceremony of Dumke Arts Plaza in downtown Ogden on Friday December 3, 2021.

People gather at the new Dumke Arts Plaza for a grand opening ceremony in downtown Ogden on Friday, December 3, 2021.

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