Deann Weapons, Special to Standard Examiner
Construction is nearing completion on Dumke Arts Plaza, located in Ogden, and the community is invited to celebrate the grand opening on Friday, December 3, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Dumke Arts Plaza will be an arts-focused community space, vibrant outdoor gallery, and intimate performance venue. The square is designed to inspire creativity, elevate diverse perspectives, and anchor Ogden as a hub of contemporary art. The square will feature major art installations as well as community arts programming ranging from small concerts and dance performances to video art. It will be a space to engage with art in all its forms, but also a daily gathering place – to share a lunch with a friend or to enjoy a family visit.
All are encouraged to attend the grand opening and celebrate Dumke Arts Plaza as a new arts-focused space for the community.
The event, at 445 25th St. at the corner of 25th Street and Ogden Avenue, will be the premiere of the square’s inaugural exhibition, a selection of works by internationally renowned American sculptor Chakaia Booker, curated by Weber State University. The Beacon will also be on display, a permanent sculptural piece that spans the plaza on 25th Street. Guest speakers will deliver brief remarks at 6:15 p.m. and performances will take place throughout the evening.
A unique collaboration between project partners and community members shaped the Dumke Arts Plaza. The Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation is the main funder of the project. The foundation’s donation of more than $ 2.2 million to support Dumke Arts Plaza is intended to honor the legacy of its founders and their commitment to Ogden. Ogden City and Weber County RAMP also helped fund the project.
Image provided, Ogden City
The foundation, Ogden City, RAMP, Weber State University and Ogden Contemporary Arts, along with community stakeholders, worked closely together to develop the vision for Dumke Arts Plaza. The design of the square was led by renowned company Sasaki Associates, in conjunction with Ogden-based companies IO LandArch and Union Creative Agency. Hogan Construction is now building the square.
Dumke Arts Plaza represents the transformation of a dilapidated motel property into an innovative civic space that will bring the art community together in Ogden’s vibrant creative Nine Rails district. The design of the plaza, inspired by the dynamic landscape of the region, has the flexibility to support many types of art, from large-scale installations to small performances, and includes an LED screen to display cinematic art and video. A raised platform known as the plinth provides more space for artistic programming, as well as a new perspective on the square and its surroundings.
Dumke Arts Plaza is a welcoming public space, with interactive play elements, unique lighting, benches, and waterfront landscaping. A major feature of Dumke Arts Plaza is the Beacon, a new sculpture that spans 25th Street, inviting visitors to explore the square.
Dumke Arts Plaza creates an exciting opportunity to share world-class art exhibits with the community in an outdoor civic space. The Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery at Weber State University and the Department of Visual Art and Design are proud to host the inaugural exhibition at Dumke Arts Plaza, featuring a selection of works by Booker. The exhibition includes three recent major works by Booker.
Booker’s distinctive approach to form and materiality, using reused automotive tire rubber to construct complex and monumental abstract objects, speaks eloquently to themes of transformation, re-imagining and recontextualization. As such, his work is a unique focal point for the public’s first opportunity to experience world-class public art at Dumke Arts Plaza, itself a major initiative in the revitalization and reclamation of civic space for Ogden, the state and the region.
Image provided, Ogden City
For more information on Dumke Arts Plaza, visit ogdencity.com/DumkeArtsPlaza. Ogden City encourages community members and organizations interested in hosting arts programs and events at Dumke Arts Plaza to visit the website for more information.
For more information on the Booker exhibit presented by Weber State University, visit weber.edu/shawgallery/upcoming.html. The exhibition will be on display to the public from December 3 to May 15, 2022. The exhibition is presented in partnership with Ogden City and Ogden Contemporary Arts and is made possible through the support of Dr Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation, the Matthew S Browning Center for Design and the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities.