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Grand opening planned for Dumke Arts Plaza in Ogden

By Sara Meess - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Nov 17, 2021

Deann Armes, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Construction of the Dumke Arts Plaza is currently underway by Hogan Construction.

Construction is near completion on the Dumke Arts Plaza, located in Ogden, and the community is invited to celebrate the grand opening on Friday, Dec. 3, from 6-9 p.m.

The Dumke Arts Plaza will be an arts-focused community space, a dynamic outdoor gallery and an intimate performance venue. The plaza is designed to inspire creativity, elevate diverse perspectives and anchor Ogden as a hub for contemporary art. The plaza will feature major art installations as well as community-led arts programming ranging from small concerts to dance performances to video art. It will be a space to engage with art in all its forms, but also a place for everyday gatherings — sharing lunch with a friend or enjoying a family visit.

All are encouraged to attend the grand opening and celebrate the Dumke Arts Plaza as a new arts-focused space for the community.

The event, at 445 25th St. on the corner of 25th Street and Ogden Avenue, will serve as the premiere of the plaza’s inaugural exhibition, a selection of work by internationally renowned American sculptor Chakaia Booker, curated by Weber State University. Also on display will be the Beacon, a permanent sculptural piece that extends from the plaza over 25th Street. Invited speakers will make brief remarks at 6:15 p.m. and performances will take place throughout the evening.

A unique collaboration among project partners and community members has shaped the Dumke Arts Plaza. The Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation is the lead funder for the project. The foundation’s gift of more than $2.2 million to support the Dumke Arts Plaza is intended to honor the legacy of its founders and their commitment to Ogden. Ogden City and Weber County RAMP also contributed major funding to the project.

Image supplied, Ogden City

A rendering of the Dumke Arts Plaza by Sasaki Associates.

The foundation, Ogden City, RAMP, Weber State University and Ogden Contemporary Arts, along with community stakeholders, collaborated closely to develop the vision for the Dumke Arts Plaza. The plaza design was led by renowned firm Sasaki Associates, working with Ogden-based firms IO LandArch and Union Creative Agency. Hogan Construction is now building the plaza.

The Dumke Arts Plaza represents the transformation of a blighted motel property into an innovative civic space that will bring the community together around art in Ogden’s dynamic Nine Rails Creative District. The plaza’s design, inspired by the region’s dynamic landscape, has the flexibility to support many types of art, from large-scale installations to small performances, and includes an LED screen for displaying film and video art. An elevated platform known as the plinth provides more space for arts programming, as well as a new perspective on the plaza and its surroundings.

The Dumke Arts Plaza is a welcoming public space, with interactive play elements, unique lighting, benches and waterwise landscaping. A major feature of the Dumke Arts Plaza is the Beacon, a new sculpture that extends over 25th Street, inviting visitors to explore the plaza.

The Dumke Arts Plaza creates an exciting opportunity to share world-class art exhibitions with the community in an outdoor civic space. Weber State University’s Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery and the Department of Visual Art & Design are proud to curate the inaugural exhibition at the Dumke Arts Plaza, featuring a selection of work by Booker. The exhibition includes three major recent pieces by Booker.

Booker’s distinctive approach to form and materiality, utilizing repurposed automotive tire rubber to construct complex and monumental abstract objects, speaks eloquently to themes of transformation, reimagining and recontextualization. As such, her work is a uniquely fitting focal point for the public’s first opportunity to experience world-class public art at the Dumke Arts Plaza, itself a major initiative in the revitalization and reclamation of civic space for Ogden, the state and the region.

Image supplied, Ogden City

A rendering of the Dumke Arts Plaza at night by Sasaki Associates.

For more information about the Dumke Arts Plaza, visit ogdencity.com/DumkeArtsPlaza. Ogden City encourages community members and organizations interested in hosting arts programming and events at the Dumke Arts Plaza to visit the website for more information.

For more information about the Booker exhibition presented by Weber State University, visit weber.edu/shawgallery/upcoming.html. The exhibition will be on view to the public from Dec. 3 through May 15, 2022. The exhibition is presented in partnership with Ogden City and Ogden Contemporary Arts and is made possible by the support of the Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation, the Matthew S. Browning Center for Design and the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities.

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