Ogden is full of different opportunities to get involved in the arts. Whether it be music, galleries, performances, street art or zines, there is a place for everyone to enjoy the creativity and ingenuity in Ogden’s art scene.

The Monarch Building in Ogden Utah hosts the Vida, muerte, justica Art Exhibit.  (Nikki Dorber/The Signpost)
The Monarch Building in Downtown Ogden hosts the Vida, Muerte, Justicia art exhibit. (Nikki Dorber/The Signpost) Photo credit: Nikki Dorber

One of Ogden’s art traditions is the monthly First Friday Art Stroll. Held on the first Friday of every month, galleries in downtown Ogden open their doors to the public for live music, artist receptions and exhibits.

Currently, the Ogden Contemporary Arts and Weber State University are hosting a conjoined art show called “Vida, Muerte, Justicia” that presents the work of 24 different Latin American and Latinx artists relating to social and racial justice. This show will go until Nov. 27 and is free to the public. People can visit the show both at the OCA and at the Shaw Gallery on the WSU campus.

The Great Ogden Art Hunt is another monthly event where members of the community can participate to win a prize of $100 and the art piece itself.

Hosted by the Eccles Community Art Center, various businesses and galleries participate in the hunt. Each week, a clue is posted on the center’s social media accounts and webpage to offer a hint as to where the art piece is hidden. Community members can seek out the piece at the participating locations and submit their guess on the webpage or as a photo message to any of the social media accounts.

Right now in Gallery 51, there is a community show called the Sustainable Planet. The show is full of artwork made from recyclable materials and will be open until Nov. 13.

The Corona Alter encourages visitors to add to the art piece by bringing tributes such as photos, flowers, notes and other items to pay their respects to those who are no longer with us.  (Nikki Dorber/The Signpost)
The Corona Altar encourages visitors to add to the art piece by bringing tributes such as photos, flowers, notes and other items to pay their respects to those who are no longer with us as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Nikki Dorber/The Signpost) Photo credit: Nikki Dorber

Union Station holds many different events with various partners such as WSU and local art foundation Nurture the Creative Mind. Something specific to Union Station is their focus on diversity with their Living Heritage program and their quarterly community art show.

Currently, there is a call for the holiday culture show that will be held at the station in December. This show will focus on community artists and their representation of their culture during the holiday season.

Holly Andrew, a museum curator with the Union Station, said the primary mission of the Union Station museum is to highlight the identity of the community through local as well as national art.

“For me, holding events like this is a chance for our community to gather together and celebrate what makes us who we are,” Andrew said. “Our museum and the events that we hold here are designed to help us understand what makes Ogden Ogden.”

Andrew said her 15 years in the museum field have taught her the importance of this opportunity for the community and artists to connect, relate to others and the stories shared and develop a sense of self and identity.

Ogden Contemporary Art is located inside of The Monarch in Ogden, Utah and hosts the Vida, Muerte and Justica art exhibit. (Nikki Dorber/The Signpost)
Ogden Contemporary Arts is located inside The Monarch in Ogden, Utah. (Nikki Dorber/The Signpost) Photo credit: Nikki Dorber

On the second Saturday of each month, the Monarch holds a market for creatives to display and sell their work. Kacey Holmstead, the public events manager at the Monarch, said it gives creatives the opportunity to mingle with each other and the community.

“I think Ogden as a whole is very inclusive, and I think the art just brings everyone together,” Holmstead said.

The grand opening for the new Dumke Arts Plaza on 25th Street will be on Dec. 3. The Plaza will be a public space where speakers, performances, concerts and art exhibits will be hosted, all of which will be present on opening night.

Another new art opportunity was Ogden’s recent call for local artists to design murals for the new OGX stations that will be going up around the city.

Found on downtown streets during the summer are the painted horses of the Trail to Pioneer Days, each designed by commissioned local artists and many displaying local scenes.

Downtown Ogden is also full of many vibrant murals and other street art pieces, ready to be discovered by passersby.

Ogden's historical Monarch Building welcomes its newest attraction, Ogden Contemporary Arts (OCA).  OCA opens their doors on Friday.  Words, how words are used and when they are used is the focus of this experience. Nikki Dorber / The Signpost
The OCA and WSU came together in order to put on "Vida, Muerte, Justicia" and showcase the art of the participating Latinx artists. (Nikki Dorber / The Signpost) Photo credit: Nikki Dorber

The LQ Zine is another new face to the Ogden art scene. Available for purchase at local shops such as Lavender Vinyl, the LQ Zine is a magazine made by and for the LGBTQ population in Ogden. The first edition was published in October and is filled with all types of original art, photographs, recipes and poems.

Another event to look forward to in Ogden is the Twilight Concert Series. Sponsored by Ogden City and a number of local businesses, the series is in its fifth year. It starts up at the end of May and runs through the summer. This year, the series hosted artists such as Purity Ring, Death Cab for Cutie, Noah Cyrus and The Flaming Lips.

Those interested in attending can stay tuned to the Twilight Concert Series social media account to see who will be coming to the Ogden Amphitheater next year.

The Ogden Nikki Dorber / The Signpost
The Ogden Contemporary Arts building contains passages along the walls, much like the one pictured, for the enjoyment of those who enter. (Nikki Dorber / The Signpost) Photo credit: Nikki Dorber

Spring also brings the return of the Ogden Art Festival. For over 15 years, the Ogden Art Festival has been held on the second weekend of June at the Union Station, hosted by Nurture the Creative Mind.

Nurture the Creative Mind also is behind the painted pianos that pop up on downtown street corners during the summer months for community members to play as they wish.

Nurture the Creative Mind also hosts a number of free classes covering topics like creative writing, film, painting and more. These classes are for kids and families in the community to explore the arts.

The OCA uses bright lighting and high ceilings to make all art presented within to be easily seen.  Nikki Dorber / The Signpost
The OCA uses bright lighting and high ceilings to make all art presented within to be easily seen. Nikki Dorber / The Signpost Photo credit: Nikki Dorber

Founder and Director Amir Jackson said the arts help build the community with vibrancy, health, diversity and overall culture.

“A creative culture is always beneficial, and I think it has to be understood that we as people sometimes minimize what creativity is,” Jackson said. “It’s not just confined to painting or creative writing or sculpting…. A creative community has more innovation. A creative community is constantly building and looking for solutions to problems…. That creative culture being injected into the community will have benefits on every level.”

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