The Ogden City Arts Council is a group of local artists and residents that focuses on all things art happening in the city. The group’s members work as liaisons between artists and Ogden City to ensure art remains a vital part of the city. Russ Adams is a local special effects artist and a member of the council.
When most people think of art, they think of paintings in a gallery, sculptures cast in bronze, classical music in a concert hall and dancers in a ballet.
While these are all works of art and beautiful contributions to thought, expression and the human spirit, they aren’t the limit to the broad spectrum that is art.
I would like to step away from the traditional view for a moment and recognize the diversity of art created right here in Ogden. Different creations appeal to different people, which is why Ogden is so special. Our city is home to a stunning variety of artisans. Within our population, we have glass blowers, leather craftsmen, musicians, filmmakers, actors, makeup artists and cosplayers. I haven’t even scratched the surface of this exhaustive group of makers.
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Speaking to what inspires us, I am particularly fond of cosplayers.
You may not have heard the term “cosplayer,” but you may be living next door to one and not know it. There are many of them perfecting their craft right here in Ogden. This genre is able to take everyday items and transform them into walking, talking, three-dimensional forms that look as if they stepped straight out of a Hollywood film. If you have seen it in a comic book or in a movie, these artists have recreated it in stunning detail. This art form combines sculpture, costuming, makeup, fabrication and performance into a thing of wonder.
While some keep their work pure and true to form, others go wild and mash up their creations with other genres, periods and even gender-bending. When cosplay is done well, it’s an incredible sight to see.
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Whether they are novices or experts, they give it their all in a world that may not understand them. This makes them true artists in my book. I feel I can say this with some authority because I am a professional artist — a special effects artist. This is just another artistic field that can be found right here in Ogden. My genre has subsets much too vast to list here. In my case, however, I am a creature designer, and I build animatronic puppets that come to life in film, commercials and television shows.
My list in this short article is infinitesimal compared to the styles and creative disciplines that are out there toiling away at their crafts in an effort to inspire, provoke and even please. As a member of the Ogden City Arts Advisory Committee, I am overjoyed and honored to help cultivate awareness for our local creators.
If you are an art-lover and enjoy discovering new forms of creative expression, I have just the place for you — the Ogden First Friday Art Stroll. It happens every first Friday of the month, and you are always invited. The next event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, in downtown Ogden.
So, slip on some boots, throw on your coat and a hat. It’s time to immerse yourself in the creative!