A Call to Place: the first five years of the Frontier Fellowship
An exhibition at the Rio Gallery in Salt Lake City, March 18 – May 13, 2016.
The town of Green River lies within the lunar landscape of eastern Utah: rock cliffs reveal striations of sediment with boulders clustered below fracturing buttes. Green River is a place where the land is plentiful and the red dust, burnt cliffs, and lonely sky lie just beyond the end of its roads. Prismatic sunsets give way to stars that shine bold and close. If you’ve never seen monolithic terraces under an oceanic sky, Green River is the seeing place.
The only town of consequence and place to ford its mighty namesake for many miles, Green River has been a welcomed sight to travelers for well over a century. Uranium mining, the construction of a missile base, and other economic booms led to times of prosperity that proved short-lived. As jobs disappeared and the newly built Interstate 70 routed travelers around rather than through the town, businesses closed shop, buildings fell into disrepair, and the town’s population dwindled to its current size of 952. During the recent recession, Epicenter, an interdisciplinary nonprofit organization, began partnering with the city and residents to reverse Green River’s economic misfortunes and strengthen the community.
Epicenter’s visiting artists, Frontier Fellows, prove an integral part of this revitalization by discerning and celebrating Green River’s rural pride and pioneering spirit. A Call to Place features the first five years of Frontier Fellows: 50 visiting artists and collaboratives who have each spent up to a month in residence generating place-based work in Green River alongside the community.
A Call to Place was made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts (Art Works–Design), Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Steve & Juanita Sykes, Emery County Travel Board, and the Sorenson Legacy Foundation.