OGDEN -- The most expensive public art piece in city history, costing $300,000, will be unveiled late this summer as part of the long-awaited Ogden River Project.
The interactive sculpture will be at the northwest corner of 19th Street and Grant Avenue, adjacent to the planned Ogden River high- adventure park, said Ginny Stout, Ogden's arts director.
The sculpture will be bought through a city program that allocates 1 percent of the cost of capital improvement projects toward public art.
The amount is believed to be the most spent for a single piece of public art in the city's history, Stout said.
The expenditure for the sculpture will leave about $140,000 for future art projects, she said.
Mayor Matthew Godfrey, who has the final say on public art projects, has approved the sculpture.
However, the Ogden Arts Committee is seeking comments from the city council about the sculpture's design, Stout said.
The sculpture, which will highlight the Ogden River's water cycle, will be built on site later this summer by Andy Dufford, a renowned artist from Denver, Stout said.
"He's a really soulful and wonderful artist," she said. "We are honored to work with him."
Dufford, who was chosen over 137 artists who submitted proposals for the project, said he's excited to work on the project.
"In the past, I have done a number of habitat restoration projects, and the work that Ogden is doing is exciting," he said. "Another thing that is cool is that it's going to be a gathering place for the community."
He has completed numerous projects, including building a handcrafted amphitheater at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and sculptures in Dallas, Kansas City, Mo., and Boulder, Colo.
The Ogden River Project artwork will include a plaza with sculptural and interactive elements to give visitors a place to gather to learn more about the cycle of water in the West.
A solstice sculpture made from a towering boulder to mimic nearby mountain peaks will be installed at the southern edge of the plaza. A flock of bronze birds will be placed to circle the summit of the boulder.
At noon during winter solstice, the shadows of the birds will form the shadow of an oversized snowflake on a stone slab on the northern edge of the plaza.
During the summer, children will be able to turn a hand crank to pump water to the stone's peak, with the water descending to spill onto a stepped water table carved with river currents, native plants, aquatic invertebrates, fish and birds.
The Ogden River high-adventure park will be built on the north side of the Ogden River between Lincoln and Grant avenues. The first phase is scheduled to be completed by fall and is being funded with $155,000 in Weber County RAMP funds.
Those funds come from a tax approved by Weber County voters in 2004 that allows the county to impose a local sales tax of one-tenth of 1 percent, which is 1 cent on a $10 sale, to improve recreation, arts, museums and parks.
The park will feature cable rope play structures, swing bridges, zip lines and other equipment.