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The Union Station’s Ogden Arts Festival is typically the last place anyone would encounter arithmetic, but at the 10th annual event this year, math was a very important factor. Weber State University’s mathematics department teamed up with the Ogden Arts Festival for the first time to create a children’s activity centered on mathematics and art on Saturday afternoon.
Angela Holbrook, a mathematics student at WSU, volunteered her time at the math outreach program at the Union Station. She, along with other students, helped children to create Spirographs on posters.
“It deals a lot with symmetry,” Holbrook said. “It’s a lot of different angles and repetitive with the patterns to make designs.”
Holbrook said these posters will later be displayed in the mathematics department at WSU.
“It’s a way of showing that mathematics is in everything, including the arts,” Holbrook said.
The festival was held Friday and Saturday. Friday was the 25th Street Car Show, featuring 300 vintage and classic vehicles ranging from Volkswagen buses to Ford Mustangs.
The event kicked off with the Plein Air competition on Thursday night. Artists started on May 31, painting different scenes in Ogden only using natural daylight with no electronic assistance. There was also a “quick draw” Plein Air competition, in which the paintings had to be finished, framed and ready for auction by 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The festival was scaled back this year and only included 40 booths for fine artists, as opposed to 65 artists last year. Usually, the artists will have booths that encompass 25th Street from Grant Avenue to the Union Station, but this year, all the artists gathered at the Union Station.
Tracy Ehrig, a WSU alumna and artist coordinator for the festival, said the decision to have a smaller festival helps to enhance the art in the local area.
“We all love art; we’re all artists who want to enhance the art scene here,” Ehrig said.
Although the festival is free to the public, Ehrig said the festival was a fundraiser for the Union Station. The auctions from the art competitions directly fund the Union Station foundation, and a portion of money goes back to the artists as well.
“It helps us keep this place open,” Ehrig said, commenting that next year is the Union Station’s 90th anniversary. “It’s such a gathering place for the community.”
Ehrig said the festival draws artists from all around the region, and they help to support the local economy. Nineteen of the artists are from different parts of Utah, and they stay and shop in Ogden.
“It brings more people into our community to let them know that Ogden is awesome and not scary,” Ehrig said. “In the nine years that I’ve been here, I can’t believe the changes . . . we all work together. We think of events together to bring more people down here to make it a more vibrant community.”
Glen Powell is one of the artists who traveled to Ogden specifically for the festival. Originally from Montana, Powell now lives in Arizona. He draws inspiration from the American West, and his only instrument is a No. 2 pencil.
“Obviously I’m here to sell and make a living, so I like to take home some sales, but other than that, it’s just the experience of traveling and seeing other places and meeting other people,” Powell said. “It’s nice to get away from a space that you spend a lot of time in and see other spaces.”