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Ogden’s May art stroll offers chances to learn about impacts of the railroad

By Rob Nielsen - | May 1, 2024

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OGDEN — This upcoming First Friday Art Stroll will offer a couple of opportunities to learn some local history.

According to a press release from Ogden City Arts, Culture & Events, the May art stroll — set for 6-9 p.m. Friday — will include events highlighting the contributions and adversities faced by Chinese laborers and others on the transcontinental railroad.

One of the main events will be at Union Station.

“To commemorate the 155th Anniversary of the Golden Spike Festival, and to reveal the untold history of Chinese workers during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, this art show depicts the railroad construction from the western end of the country through the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Nevada,” the release said. “Here the Chinese workers encountered many obstacles including blasting through hard granite, harsh winters, hazardous conditions, social isolation, and pay inequality. We pay tribute to the hard work and diligence of the Chinese railroad workers to the economic development of our nation.”

While the opening for the new exhibit is at 2:30 p.m. Friday, there will be activities throughout the evening.

“There will be music and Kung Fu performances, as well as speakers on Chinese railroading history. This is part of the Union Station’s celebration of the 155th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad’s completion, which will also feature Spike 150’s new 40-foot golden spike and live music on Union Station’s Plaza,” the release stated.

Additionally, Ogden Contemporary Arts will be opening the exhibition “The Other Side of the Tracks.”

“In 1862, the Pacific Railroad Act marked the commencement of a monumental project that would span the continent. Celebrated for its role in unifying the nation, this achievement also harbors a narrative seldom told. The Other Side of the Tracks aims to illuminate the histories of those who lived in the shadow of the tracks–people and communities whose contributions and adversities have been overlooked in the grand story of American progress and innovation,” the release said. “The multidisciplinary exhibition features the diverse works of nine national and internationally recognized artists including Tania Candiani, Raven Chacon, Guillermo Galindo, Gregg Deal, Zhi Lin, Caroline Liu, Paisley Rekdal, Xaviera Simmons, and Chip Thomas. These artists represent communities–Native American, African American, Chinese American, and Mexican–that were crucial to the railroad’s construction yet largely excluded from its documented legacy.”

For more information on the First Friday Art Stroll, visit https://tinyurl.com/yknvu5tf.

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