There’s a new art project in town and I can not wait to see where it goes. Ogden 52 is a community photography project created by local, Ben Zack. I asked him a few questions about how he created the project and how you can get involved. Stay tuned for more spotlights photos and updates along the way as the project comes to life.
What is the Ogden 52 project?
Ogden 52 is a community photography project put on by Nurture the Creative Mind to show the many sides of Ogden and all of the different ways that people view the Junction City.
We’ve divided a map of Ogden into 52 sections. Each section corresponds with a specific card in a deck of regular playing cards. Each photographer will draw a card at random and then go find a photo in the neighborhood that they drew. The final photos will be collected into a gallery show that will be displayed around town.
What inspired you to start this project?
I’m interested in any project that combines arts and community involvement. Lots of people have a view in their mind of what Ogden is. I wanted to put together a project that encouraged people to share those different views and learn something about their neighbors in a fun and creative way.
One of the inspirations for the design of Ogden 52 was a project called Dart St. Louis where photographers in St. Louis, Missouri threw darts at a map and went and photographed the spot where the dart landed.
I work as a photographer for the Standard-Examiner, so I obviously have a passion for documenting Ogden through photography.
How has the response been from local photographers?
The response has been amazing. Before we started, I was worried about whether or not we would be able to find 52 people to take part. When we went public with the project, I heard from hundreds of people who were interested in taking part within the first few days. The responses have come from a wide mix of professional, amateur and student photographers.
How did you divide up Ogden?
The I tried to evenly cover all corners of Ogden. The neighborhoods vary in size a bit depending on how many people live, work and play in each area. On average, the neighborhoods are roughly four by eight blocks, but if you draw a card for downtown, your neighborhood to photograph is going to be much smaller than if you draw a card by the airport. The map for the project can be seen online at: http://ogden52.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-ogden-52-map.html
What do you hope comes out of this project?
There is a great diversity in Ogden. Not just in the people and places, but also in the way folks view the city. I hope Ogden gets people (both the photographers and the casual viewer) looking at the city in new ways. I hope people take a second look at the areas that they know well and explore the corners of the city that they haven’t paid attention to before.
Where will the photos be displayed?
The photos will go on display starting with the March First Friday Art Stroll on Friday, March 6 at the new Nurture the Creative Mind Space at Union Station.
How can locals get involved?
Photographers will draw their cards at the Nurture the Creative Mind Open House during the First Friday Art Stroll on Friday, January 9 at Union Station at 6pm. The photographers will be picked on a first come, first serve basis. We’re also working on plans for another round of Ogden 52 later in the year. The photos from this first round will go on display at Nurture the Creative Mind’s new space in Union Station on March 6. Everyone, whether they are a photographer who wants to get involved or just want to see the final project, can stay up date at www.ogden52.blogspot.org or www.facebook.com/ogden52photography