Bicycle Beautiful Ogden - Artist Interview
When the Bicycle Collective was gifted their current Ogden location, it was nothing more than an empty brick shell. The abandoned building, which had previously operated as a dry cleaner, needed a new roof, electrical system, plumbing, and windows. This building, now current home to Bicycle Collective's Ogden community bike shop, has taken a lot of volunteer time, donations, and investment to get it to where it is today. It has been a labor of love.
In 2021, the Ogden staff had the vision of commissioning a piece of public art that celebrates Ogden’s unique community and its rich environment. We wanted to enhance the neighborhood around the shop and inspire Ogden residents to explore and interact with our landscapes by bicycle. It was serendipity that led the artist, Lindsay Huss, to the shop at just the right time.
Thanks to grants from Ogden City Arts and Weber County R.A.M.P., funding from Bicycle Collective, and Lindsay's hard work, the vision was realized in June, 2022 with a stunning 1500 square foot mural. We love it!
What was your inspiration and what was your favorite part of creating the mural?
This mural is a celebration of all that [the] Bicycle Collective does for our wonderful community. So many people do not have the privilege of owning a bike. [Bicycle Collective, Ogden] regularly gives away bicycles to children and those in need of dependable transportation, focusing on marginalized communities. I love this mission and I’m so thankful to be able to bring more visibility to the Ogden location. I was inspired by what owning a bicycle can mean for accomplishing one’s dreams and the amazing places it can take you. The woman is depicted realistically, but surrounded by dreamlike places. The rainbow weaves through the entire painting, taking us to all these wonderful places she can visit: downtown, the mountains, and the Ogden River Parkway. We get to be immersed in this dream, enjoying it alongside her.
My favorite part of creating this mural was the community involvement. We ran into a hiccup prepping the wall, and I had so many volunteers spend upwards of 30 hours helping me. It was truly humbling to feel so supported by members of this community. The neighbors were equally wonderful! They stopped by consistently, cheering me on, offering me food and drink, and even offering up their own belongings and equipment to help me finish the wall. Every time I paint a mural, I get to know the people in the neighborhood. It’s a true joy to see them light up when they see my work. It makes my heart swell to know that I’ve created something beautiful for them to enjoy.
How does it feel to be a major voice in Ogden’s mural scene?
I am so grateful to be a voice in Ogden’s mural scene. It’s an honor to have my work be so accessible to the public. I am a firm believer that every person needs art in their life. If you don’t know what I mean, just take a moment to think about a life without music, delicious cuisine, media, and color in general. Even down to the logo for your favorite brand, you consume art and creativity every minute of every day. To be able to take what is considered inaccessible for so many and make it public is an incredible feeling. The majority of people can’t necessarily justify purchasing a huge painting for their home, so I love that they can walk or ride their bike a few blocks to go see one. I am also a huge advocate for art that is inclusive. I am so thankful that a Mexican American woman was my model for this piece. We have large Latinx and Hispanic populations in Ogden, and it is so important for there to be public art that includes someone that is part of that demographic. Representation matters and I’m honored to keep fighting for it.
What aspects of Ogden inspire your murals?
Ogden is simply an inspiring place! We have cool architecture, breathtaking mountains, and dreamy fields of wildflowers. We also have a supportive, inclusive, and involved community. The people and the beauty of this place inspire me daily! I’m proud to be creating work in a town that values art accessibility and creativity in so many ways.
Special thanks go out to all the volunteers who helped prepare the building wall for Lindsay to paint, and to our neighbors, particularly Rick, for all the support. Thanks also to @triplelphotographyut for the use of her photos in this post.