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My First Friday Art Stroll

The Ogden community’s First Friday Art Stroll is held year round on the first Friday of every month. From 6–9 p.m., the stroll consists of art, shopping and live music for everyone to enjoy. The live events and exhibits are held on Historic 25th Street, at Nine Rails Creative District and The Junction.

First Friday Art Stroll- Gallery 25
Gallery 25 was one of the many shops on 25th street that participated in the First Friday Art Stroll. Photo credit: Elle Gord

I had the opportunity to experience the First Friday Art Stroll for the first time over the fourth of July weekend and the event greatly opened my eyes to the creativity within my community. I have lived in Ogden for about two years but have rarely explored it. My art stroll experience was largely focused on the Historic 25th Street. Between Grant and Wall Avenues, the art stroll had nine places to visit.

At Gallery 25, I explored the art of various local artists whose techniques varied from watercolor to acrylic. Here, I met with Mike Gardner, whose art was displayed right as you walked into the gallery. It had a light, tropical feel to it, which matched the Hawaiian shirt he was wearing. He told me about a trip he went on to Maui back in January which inspired the oil based artwork found in the gallery.

“The paintings you see here are all unique to today’s stroll,” Gardner said.

Not only did Gardner have his incredible paintings but also had extra large jewelry pieces on display.

Mike Gardner speaking with gallery visitor
Artist Mike Gardner is speaking about his works with a gallery visitor. Photo credit: Elle Gord

Outside of the Rainy Day Emporium was Jocelyn Cortes, who displayed some of her local art but also offered the fun experience of a tarot card reading.

“I have always felt a need to express myself if it is through poetry, drawing or martial art,” Cortes said.

Tori Fowler was also outside of the Emporium with her hand-crafted jewelry, wall art and other paintings and drawings.

“I am very passionate about making beautiful things for people to look at, and hope to do just that, no matter what medium I am working with,” Fowler said.

Sightseeing in Our National Parks- Bessann Swanson and John Clark
The First Friday Art Stroll featured many artists and their artworks including this one by Bessann Swanson and John Clark. Photo credit: Elle Gord

The final highlight of my first First Friday Art Stroll was at the Historic Union Station. This is a building that I have driven past many times, but never actually ventured into. Walking into the old train station, I saw the newest exhibit from Sightseeing in Our National Parks, featuring the artwork of Bessann Swanson and John Clark.

One of my personal favorites within the station was the artwork displayed by Judy Elsley. Her display took more of an interactive approach, asking patrons to take a piece of paper from one of the following categories: “If I could change one thing about my body it would be,” “I am grateful for my,” and other quotes about the body.

Local Artwork at Union Station
A display of local artwork that was placed in the Union Station during the First Friday Art Stroll on July 2. Photo credit: Elle Gord

I drew a slip with a quote from Brendan O’Regan: “The body is sensitive. It registers every thought and feeling. Be tender with it.”

While the entire event was open to the artistic interpretation of the viewer, the opportunity to interact with an art piece at my disposal allowed me to recenter and reflect on my life.

Overall, the First Friday Art Stroll is an activity I would recommend for locals of all ages. It gives one the opportunity to be out and about and explore the art of both long-term and up-and-coming local artists and musicians.

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