OGDEN – What were the massive white walls on the city-owned parking structures along Grant Avenue in downtown Ogden come alive with color.
Artist Don Rimx has been at work since last week, filling the five 30-by-50-foot walls of art – his take on Ogden and the area. âIt’s a reflection of what I see in the city,â he said, taking a break from painting.
One of the murals is finished, the second is largely finished, and three more empty walls will hold his attention next. The completed and largely completed murals cover part of the west side of the parking garage along Grant Avenue just north of 23rd Street. The next three are to cover the now empty walls of the garage structure south of the one across 23rd Street.
âThe goal of this project is of course to beautify the city center and showcase the people of Ogden,â said Lorie Buckley, arts coordinator for the town of Ogden. The five murals, intended to bring to life what is otherwise a monotonous strip of concrete on the east side of Grant Avenue in the area, must “follow a historical timeline of the people who lived here and / or things that helped shape Ogden. . “
The first, most northerly, represents the Utes, one of the indigenous tribes of what is now Utah. “A tribute to them because they were the ones who were here first,” said the artist, whose first name is David Sepulveda, although he prefers to be called Don Rimx, his graffiti artist name from his days in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he grew up.
The second depicts the immigrants and others who came to Ogden and northern Utah and left their mark on the region, including Chinese railway workers and Latinos. The third will have a railway theme stemming from the importance of the region as a completion point for the transcontinental railway. The fourth is about western US culture and the fifth will focus on local jazz legend Joe McQueen.
âThey are all related. It’s part of Ogden, Utah’s story, âsaid Sepulveda, now based in Orlando, Florida. He started last week and worked long hours from a scissor lift that can lift and lower it along walls as needed. He gets help in the massive painting process by Pedro “Lance” Torres, a colleague artist who grew up with Sepulveda and is still based in Puerto Rico.
âIt’s a big project that I think will have a big impact in the city,â Torres said. The job should be done in about a month.
Don Rimx was chosen to manage the work after a nationwide search that piqued the interest of over 150 artists. the Town of Ogden Arts Advisory Committee reviewed the proposals and recommended it, with Mayor Mike Caldwell accepting the choice. The project has a budget of $ 175,000.
Sepulveda met with locals, arts officials and others to come up with ideas for the five murals. âI asked them what they would like to see reflected in the fresco. I don’t want to impose myself, âhe said.
A press release from Buckley’s office also noted the efforts made to come up with ideas and designs for the murals. Don has spent dozens of hours immersing himself in Ogden’s culture, meeting various groups with diverse views on what it means to be an ‘Ogdenite’, while exploring ideas for what will become of Ogdenite. ‘one of Ogden’s most iconic works of public art,’ one reads.
Sepulveda got his start in art at a young age. He painted graffiti and then expanded into more traditional art and graphic design, attending an arts high school and getting a more formal education at the Escuela de Artes Plasticas in Puerto Rico. His murals and other works of art reflect this mix of experiences.
âAt the end of his studies, he devoted himself to integrating the different techniques of classical art into urban art, with a specialization in murals,â reads his online biography. His murals cover walls across the United States and around the world. Other examples of Don Rimx’s work are on his website and Instagram pages.