Ogden is full of amazing people from all walks of life and one local is hoping to showcase as many as he can in his project ‘I dream of an Ogden’. I had a chance to ask Issac Farley a few questions about his project and what his dream of Ogden is. Read on to learn more about ‘I dream of an Ogden’ and how you can be a part of it.
Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Isaac Farley; I am 22 years old, studying art and design at Weber State University. I was born in Ogden. Raised under harsh circumstances, just below the poverty line. I got interested in art in middle school, picked up web design in high school, found graphic design through web design and became interested in community work in my early college career while working for Weber State’s Multicultural Student Center. Now the majority of work I produce is geared towards helping families in the Ogden area suffering under many of the same afflictions my family faced while I was growing up.
What is the ‘I dream of an Ogden…’ project and what inspired you to start it?
I dream of an Ogden is a community engagement project, it asks people to finish the sentence “I dream of an Ogden…” give their name, age and pose for photograph. The image and info are being collected as a poster series to be exhibited at WSU’s BFA thesis show this April and also published on my website.
The concept for I dream of an Ogden actually began in Richmond, Virginia. Graphic Designer Bizhan Kodabandh had a dream that inspired him to create a project he called “I dream of a Richmond…” Bizhan working with photographers he asked people to finish the sentence “I dream of a Richmond…” The result was around 80 posters that exhibited all over Richmond. I loved Bizhan’s project from the first time I heard about it online. I contacted Bizhan and asked for permission to do a similar project for our community.
I have always believed that graphic design can be used as a voice for people and ideas. That voice can speak on behalf of corporations selling products and services or it can speak on behalf of a community, it can give tangible form to concerns and create a platform for dialogue about improving the world around us. I want this project to be an ignition switch into bigger and bigger community engagement efforts. I first want to start by asking people what they need from the community, what Ogden they dream of and in the future we can all work towards these goals, but the first step is to just start talking about the community’s issues.
What is your dream of Ogden?
I dream of an Ogden where no one else suffers because I’m afraid to do the right thing. In high school I had a good friend who changed my life in a lot of ways. A friend who suffered a lot with all kinds of problems. I had the means to help my friend but because I was afraid of what might happen, what people might think of me, I never took a stand to do the right thing. I lost my friend because of my fears and as a result I’ve committed to do everything I can to make a difference. If there is anything that I can do for my community while I have the chance I will do it! By committing to making a difference in the lives of the people around me, my friend’s suffering was not for nothing.
Who are the kinds of people you photograph for your project?
Any and everyone who will let me. Due to my volunteer work at The Upper Room Church every week serving a hot meal to those in need, I’ve had the opportunity to take a lot of photos of the underprivileged among us. But I hope I can find more people from every walk of life to photograph. I am not discriminating at all; I want to record the voice of all of Ogden’s divers population.
What kind of impact are you hoping this project will make?
My hope is that this project will give me a better idea of what the community’s needs are and what sort of future design campaigns I can create to address those needs. I hope that there is an elephant in the room that can be exposed through these efforts and we can say, “Yes Ogden is an amazing place but let’s also talk about what we can do to make it even better.” Self-critique is healthy and naturally fosters growth and improvement.
How can the community get involved?
The community can get involved by submitting a quote and photo through my website http://isaacfarley.com/dreamof there they will find a contact form detailing how the images will be used and how to submit their name and info for the project. I am also posting the status of the project on my website and will be publishing all the images I collect there. The community can connect with the project on facebook, twitter, and pinterest. Most importantly they can visit the BFA Thesis Exhibition at Weber State’s Shaw Gallery in the Kimball Visual Arts Building from April 14 – April 30. Selected images from I dream of and Ogden will be exhibited there along with work from all of my class mates and friends.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Be sure to check out Bizhan Kodabandh at http://mendedarrow.com