Awards in the Arts winners share their thoughts

Ashley Moyes

For over a decade, The Ogden City Mayor’s Awards in the Arts program has been recognizing individuals and organizations in the community. Anyone can be selected and nominations are open to the general public.

Ogden City’s Visual Arts Award recipient Russ Adams airbrushes one of his custom made creatures. (Photo By: Russ Adams)

This year’s categories and winners are: Dean and Carol Hurst (Lifetime Achievement,) Danny Weldon (Performing Arts,) Russ Adams (Visual Arts,) Arts in the Parks (Arts Education Program,) Debra Mueller (Arts Educator) and Sam Thornbrue (Youth Artist).

Sam Thornbrue, age 14, better known as Sammy Brue, started playing music three years ago. Since then he has made an impressive name for himself, playing not only in Ogden, but all over the country. Brue was listed in Rolling Stone magazine’s “20 Best Things We saw at Americana Music Fest 2014.”

Thornbrue classifies his music as Americana, which he says is a mixture of folk and its own little creation. When asked what advice he had for aspiring musicians he said, “Keep doing it, don’t ever stop. You see those musicians in their 40s still playing and they haven’t made it but they still love it and they have fun with it. You just can’t stop.”

Diane Stern, a representative for Ogden City Arts said, “Last year we had seven or eight nominations, this year we had 20. We changed some of the categories so that we had a slot for young artists, which to me is great because this is the next wave.”

Russ Adams has been a special effects artist/creature designer for nearly 20 years. Adams has a special effects studio in Ogden. He was featured on the reality show “Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge” and is currently working as a production designer on the new “Star Trek” series.

While Adams has his own shop now, he tells young artists not to be in a hurry.

“It’s always good to really learn your particular genre to the best of your ability,” he said. “Take the time to learn your genre and perfect it before you go out on your own. “

Kathryn MacKay, the co-director for Arts in the Park, said the idea for the annual event stemmed from the event Science in the Parks.

“The model already existed,” she said. “You take resources from the university to where children actually are, in the parks in the summer. This year we really lucked out because we partnered with the Eccles Art Center, and other various community organizations who have wanted to help.”

When asked why students should get involved in Arts in the Parks, MacKay said, “It connects you with other students on projects, you get to meet people from different backgrounds. As we encourage the children to be creative, we get to be creative ourselves and I think that is joyful.”

The Ogden Mayor’s Awards in the Arts program ceremony is open to the public and will be held on Oct. 14, at the Ben Lomond Hotel, Crystal Ballroom, 2510 Washington Blvd. at 7 p.m. You can visit for more information.