Artists Alison Jean Cole, Anna Evans, and Lisa Ward, and Epicenter hosted the first Green River Rock & Mineral Festival at the JWP Museum March 31st to April 2nd 2017. The festival started with a lecture on important dinosaur discoveries in the Green River area by Utah State Paleontologist Dr. Jim Kirkland. The rest of the weekend featured expert-led field trips to local geological sites as well as vendors, craft demonstrators, family activities, and an exhibit of locals’ rocks. Also at the museum, a dry-stack stone wall was constructed to celebrate the architectural history of Southeast Utah. Elsewhere in town Gary Orona hosted an open house at Savage Territory Gallery, and West Winds hosted a karaoke night.
“My Favorite Rock” is a collection of regional residents’ favorite rocks and the stories attached to them displayed in conjunction with the Green River Rock & Mineral Festival. Through the gathering of these stories, we came to realize what those interviewed already knew: these rocks are more than rocks. They’re the embodiment of memories, bridges to the natural world, sources of hope and comfort, and ancient unchanging objects in an ever changing world. Thank you to everyone who shared their rocks and stories with us. Click here to learn more about the “My Favorite Rock” exhibit.
In the future the festival will become an annual city event that continues to deepen Green River’s connection to geology, paleontology, archeology, and more. The current City Council have shown support in making this an annual event and plan to include the festival in next year’s City budget.
The Green River Rock & Mineral Festival was made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Program, as well as Emery County Travel Board, Sorenson Legacy Foundation, City of Green River, J. W. Powell River History Museum, Alison Jean Cole, Anna Evans, and Lisa Ward.
Special thanks to The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Colorado River & Trail Expeditions (CRATE), Columbia Willamette Faceting Guild, Rebecca Davis, Jim Kirkland – Utah Geological Survey, Knight’s Inn, Jackie Nelson, Gary & Kelly Orona – Savage Territory Gallery, Robbers Roost Motel, Kirsten Southwell, Julie Steuer, The Tamarisk Restaurant, Lisa Ward, West Winds Restaurant, and Amy Wilmarth – Green River Coffee Co., AmeriCorps NCCC, and Epicenter (Jarod Hamm, Chris Lezama, Nate Stapley, and Maria Sykes).