—Utah Arts & Museums – For immediate release on March 1, 2016
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Arts & Museums announces A Call to Place: The first five years of the Frontier Fellowship. The exhibition highlights the town of Green River through a project initiated by Epicenter, an interdisciplinary nonprofit organization.
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 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 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. The exhibition, A Call to Place, features the first five years of Frontier Fellows, 50 visiting artists and collaborators who have each spent up to one month in residence generating place-based work in Green River alongside the community.
“We’re delighted to celebrate and reflect on one of our most stunning rural communities in Utah” said Gay Cookson Utah Arts & Museums Director, “Epicenter, and the respective fellows, are playing an important role in their community while expanding the boundaries of how we think about art making. Undoubtedly the contributions and perspective offered by these visiting artists will make a lasting impact.”
The exhibition runs from Mar. 18th-May 13th, 2016. An artist reception will be held on Mar. 18th from 6-9 p.m. for Gallery Stroll. The Rio Gallery is located inside the Rio Grande Depot at 300 S. Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Additionally the Gallery is open in partnership with The Downtown Winter Farmers Market every other Saturday from 10am-2pm from January 16th-April 23rd, 2016.
Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts (Artworks), Utah Division of Arts and Museums, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Steve and Juanita Sykes for their generous support of this project.
Charlotte XC Sullivan, Zoe Minikes, Zorth Pilioneta, Miles Mattison, Nick Zdon, Daniel Strauss, Nicole Lavelle, Ali Osborn, Jamey Herman, Richard Saxton, Sarah Baugh, Justin Flood, Raphael Griswold, Emily Howe, Aidan Koch, Shawn Creeden, Catherine Page-Harris, Kristina Fong, Corbin Lamont, Zach Bulick, Russell Kerr, Cabin Time, Erica Dixon, Dylan Adams, Bennett Williamson, Gina Abelkop, Colin Bliss, Lucia Carroll, Cyrus Smith, Sincerely Interested, Michelle Benoit, Molly Goldberg, Mary Rothlisberger, Celia Hollander, Ryan Ford, Grayson Earle, Jordan Topiel Paul, Andrew Hamblin, Spence Kroll, Eliza Fernand, Geoffrey Holstad, Rob Loucks, Pete Collard & Alice Masters, Lisa Ward, Emily Howe, Jordan Gulasky, Phil Dagostino, High Desert Test Sites, Laurelin Kruse, and Sarah Lillegard.
Design: Corbin LaMont
For more information on the Fellowship visit frontierfellowship.org.
RSVP to the event here.
My time in Green River was spent vacillating between a vague, sensory nostalgia and a desire to understand this place on its own terms. I came to Green River with a box of materials, a long list of influences, and a fairly specific idea for how I would use them on my Frontier Fellowship. When faced with the reality of Green River, however, I set this plan aside and tried to understand Green River by engaging with its physical reality. I walked and drove around the town to get a sense of how it works and what holds it together. I followed roads until they ended or were impassable. In my explorations, I stumbled across numerous reminders of the Idaho desert where I grew up, a day’s drive from Green River. I hadn’t thought about goatheads for 15 years until they were under my feet again. I knew that I would need to get oriented in this new place, but I was surprised to find myself struggling to stay oriented in time.
Over the years, Green River has expanded and contracted, the river shifted to the edge of town and the interstate highway reoriented its axis. All of this makes Green River difficult to read. It does not have a cute old main street, but it does have its particular charms, amazing tacos and an observant and connected community. All the parts of a great town are there, but it takes time and attention to understand how it all fits together. I quickly became enamored with the constant, deceptively massive presence of the Book Cliffs, with their shifting colors and repetitive structure. They play an important role in my understanding of Green River. To me the cliffs locate and organize the town externally. They tell you where you are.
The installation Untitled (Cliffs) pays homage to the Book Cliffs, and draws upon my childhood interest in geology as much as my background as an architect. I sought to produce a work that was abstract but identifiable. It has an artificial order drawn from the natural order (and disorder) of the Book Cliffs, a landscape as meaningful to me as any in Utah.
Cyrus Smith, Greensboro, NC
Michelle Benoit, Chicago, IL
Celia Hollander, Los Angeles, CA
Ryan Troy Ford, Washington, DC
Grayson Earle, Brooklyn, NY
Jordan Paul, Queens, NY
Andrew Hamblin, Berkeley, CA
Spencer Kroll, Portland, OR
Eliza Fernand, Oakland, CA