OGDEN, Utah – The community is invited to celebrate the Dumke Arts Plaza Season Kick-Off on Friday, April 7, from 6-9 p.m. The venue is located at 445 25th Street, on the corner of 25th Street and Ogden Avenue.
The event which is curated by Weber State University will serve as the plaza’s second exhibition launch, featuring selected work by renowned Utah artists Michael Whiting and Tyrone Davies. Performances by Tribalovedancer and music by Infusion Rock will showcase the versatility of programming in this space. Speakers will provide remarks at 6 p.m. Performances will immediately follow for the duration of the evening in conjunction with Ogden City’s First Friday Art Stroll.
The Dumke Arts Plaza serves as a venue 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 proudly curate exhibitions at the Dumke Arts Plaza. A selection of work by renowned Utahn sculptor Michael Whiting and Utahn filmmaker Tyrone Davies will be displayed during the exhibition. The exhibition includes LEVEL UP by Whiting, and Davies’ curated video installation, CAULDRON.
LEVEL UP is a 15-year retrospective of Whiting’s distinctive style characterized by steel minimalist pixelated abstract sculptures inspired by early video games.
The highest level I’ve ever gotten on Ms. Pac-Man is level 12. It is the fourth maze and just a couple of mazes after the cutscene of a stork bringing a baby Pac-Man to Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Man. Early video games were all about High Scores, and with each level, you went up and things got harder. You, the player, had to “level up” your playing ability to keep going. My work explores the visual connection between minimalism and early video games. The sculptures in the Plaza represent animals, figures, and objects as pixelated abstractions. I limit my image-making to the same constraints that governed early pixel-based technologies. I use a minimal number of squares to create an image. The works I create are constructed using steel and automotive paint- materials traditionally used to build the minimalist sculpture. The pixelated sculptures have been placed in the Plaza on multiple levels. They are the digital made physical. And the viewer can move up and down the levels to interact with them – more like Donkey Kong, but without a giant gorilla throwing barrels at you… I like seeing them together. It feels like leveling up. – Michael Whiting.
Davies’ film curation CAULDRON is an amalgamation of various video styles by an array of U.S. and international artists. Davies states:
This collection is an international mix… that includes ten short works by eight video makers: Tony Gault (Denver, CO), Elizabeth Henry (Denver, CO), Van McElwee (St. Louis, MO), Tim Sullivan (San Francisco, CA), Rosa Menkman (The Netherlands), Carlos Castro (Bogota, Columbia), Ryan Wylie (San Francisco, CA), and Timothy David Orme (Marina, CA). From art jokes to deep transcendental projects, each maker offers something very different. The best way to appreciate this program is to stand (or sit) still, watch, and listen.
For more information about the Whiting and Davies exhibitions presented by Weber State University, please visit https://weber.edu/shawgallery.html. These exhibitions will be on view to the public from April 7, 2023, through August 4, 2023. The exhibitions are presented in partnership with Ogden city and is made possible by the generous 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.
The Dumke Arts Plaza is an arts-focused community space, a dynamic outdoor gallery, and an intimate performance venue. It was designed to inspire creativity, elevate diverse perspectives, and anchor Ogden as a hub for contemporary art featuring major art installations, as well as community-led arts programming ranging from small concerts, to dance performances, to video art. The evening’s presentation of dance company Tribalovedancer and Latin Rock band Infusion Rock will showcase this versatility and serve as creative fodder for future community-led programming.
For more information about the Dumke Arts Plaza, please visit ogdencity.com/DumkeArtsPlaza. Ogden City encourages community members and organizations interested in hosting arts programming and events at the Dumke Arts Plaza to attend this event and/or visit the website for more information.