9/6 Newsletter column: #artwithpurpose

Back in January, I wrote about Art as a Vehicle for Social Commentary, and some of the exhibitions around town that had layers of messaging and content in addition to stuff that was interesting to look at.

More recently, I shared O1ARTS’ mission statement and a tagline.  Today, I’m distilling it even further: #artwithpurpose .

You see, everything we’ve done, and are planning to do, has purpose beyond entertaining.  Our O1|PLATFORMS initiative is designed to engage the surrounding community through active participation.  We also offer our artists honoraria to make and exhibit work there, to help generate some economic activity, and to help break the cycle of make-first-get-paid-later-(maybe) that holds so many emerging creatives back. We encourage risk-taking and out-of-the-box thinking, and hope whatever a participating artist learns there (or through O1|PANES), will allow them to take the next step artistically.

Recently, we launched our O1|WALLS initiative, with a mural now in-progress by a nationally-known artist.  Why didn’t we choose a local? In truth, Jane Kim chose us. Her Migrating Murals are located on migration routes of various endangered or threatened species.  

It happens that that Ogden, UT is smack in the middle of one of those migratory path for stately monarch butterflies, now beginning their voyage back south to their winter breeding grounds in Southern California.

This is art project that is international in scope, reach and importance, and is intended to combine beautification with environmental awareness and generate additional economic activity in the form of increased Cultural Tourism. #artwithpurpose, indeed.

Ms. Kim’s ambitions don’t stop there. The mural at The Monarch is one of three related elements all happening in Ogden.  She also created banners for the Ogden Nature Center, and will execute a mural at Weber State in October.  While calling attention to the monarch butterfly, each of the three elements recalls a specific type of art or movement; at The Monarch, the bold black and white patterns evoke not just the wings of the butterfly, but the OpArt movement.

Op Art (short for optical art) is a term coined by Time Magazine in 1964, though examples exist from much earlier dates. Op Art is bold and contemporary, still used extensively in contemporary art practice, and thus relates well to O1ARTS’ mission to create and host contemporary arts programming in a variety of spaces downtown Ogden.

See how we just snuck a little Art History 101 in there?  #artwithpurpose, again.

We’re having a Dedication Celebration on Saturday, September 22 at 1pm.  We invite you to join us, hear from others involved in bringing the #migratingmural project to Ogden, and chat / have a photo taken with the artist.


We have additional walls lined up for spring, too… so if you’re interested in a legal wall, drop us a line at connect@ogdenfirst.org.