Where the River Flows
Where the River Flows

Utah State Public Art Collection



Juvenile Justice Services...


Copyright All Years. Utah Division of Arts & Museums. All Rights Reserved.

View all works by: David Griggs

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.” - Norman Maclean

Designed for Ogden’s new Juvenile Justice Services Center, this project focuses on the entrance experience of the facility. Many people will enter this building in a variety of moods and attitudes. Some will experience the facility only once, and others will enter multiple times. The project seeks to be sensitive to the circumstances of all those who enter.

As a person walks into the building under the entrance canopy they encounter a series of colorful ribbon-like shapes. These fanciful twisted shapes are separate elements, but as they flow towards the front door they intertwine to form a stronger and more cohesive form – a braid. The braided ribbon flows into the architecture, disappearing in the building’s vestibule, and then reappearing on the floor of the Lobby. The ribbon is transformed into a river of colorful terrazzo on the lobby floor. This river twists and turns, flowing further into the lobby space. Local visitors will recognize the path of the nearby Weber River.

Another element of the braided ribbons is also repeated on the interior floor. These bronze magnifying glasses showcase the small creatures and macroinvertebrates of the Ogden region. Outside, the magnifying glasses are mounted on the ribbon mesh. Inside, they reappear as unique embeds in the terrazzo. Arranged as if they are flowing in this river of terrazzo, these magnifying glasses reveal the small animals that live in the River, giving an answer to the question: what’s in the water?

Visitors to the Juvenile Justice Services Center can follow these shapes as they enter the building. The continuity of forms unifies the interior and exterior designs. Viewers may recognize the references to the nearby Weber River, and also respond to the artwork as a metaphor for the services offered by the Juvenile Justice Center. These services are meant to guide troubled juveniles to join the larger stream of people living and working in the Ogden community. As a metaphor, the design reinforces the important ways that the Center helps individuals to join in the river of people who are contributing members of society. While the design will have immediately appeal as a result of its beauty and detail, it also offers a metaphor of hope for those needing the services provided.

“Hope is a flowing stream.” - Lailah Gifty Akita