Earlier this summer, Americans for the Arts honored Weber Valley Youth Center and artist David Griggs for his site-specific artwork, Where the River Flows, as among 50 outstanding public art projects created in 2018. The art installation was commissioned through our agency’s Public Art Program. The Public Art Network Year in Review program is the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art in the past year. Works were selected by two independent public art experts — artist Seitu Jones of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Aaron Ott, Curator of Public Art at Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.
David Griggs’ art installation at the center in Ogden begins at the entry with colorful braided ribbons leading the visitor into the lobby, where the ribbon transforms into a river of terrazzo. Embedded in the ribbons and the terrazzo are miniature magnifying glasses showing small creatures of the Ogden region. The imagery is derived from the Weber River and surroundings and is intended as metaphor for the ways the center helps individuals “join in the river of people who are contributing members of society…it also offers a metaphor of hope.” The artist quotes the author Laila Gifty Akita: “Hope is a flowing stream.”
Our Public Art Program Manager, Jim Glenn, says: “With the support of the people of Utah, artists from Utah and all over the country, we are honored to contribute to the pride of place, quality of life, and economic development of Utah with nationally recognized public art commissions like Where the River Flows.”