The Green River Community Flag

While a city logo provides a face for the local government and marketing campaigns work to attract outsiders, a flag gives the community itself a symbol to rally behind and a tangible way to show civic pride. Green River has had banners and flag proposals in the past, but no community flag has ever existed until now.

community-input-allPhoto: Community design input.

Frontier Fellow Ashley Ross and AmeriCorps VISTA Jarod Hamm worked together with the community to create a flag for Green River. They began by surveying residents and researching town history, learning what symbols, colors, and shapes were representative of Green River’s past, present, and future. With this information in mind they sketched, refined, sketched some more, and presented 20 rough options to community members at a design workshop for the city’s downtown plan.

From the community feedback, three finalists were designed and a voting booth was created to determine the winner during the week of Melon Days, an over 100-year festival celebrating the melon harvest. One option was the overwhelming favorite among Green River locals and visitors to Melon Days with over 60% of the vote.

juliePhoto: Local resident Julie Steuer mans the voting booth during Melon Days. Students flags on display in the background.

Also in September, Jarod visited two of Mrs. Suarez’ Green River High School sewing classes to teach about flag symbolism, design, and history. Students designed flags to represent each of their respective families based on the principles outlined in class. They then made the flags by hand as an introduction to basic sewing, and displayed them next to the voting booth at Melon Days.


When consulting with the community, it was very clear that their flag should include watermelon which has a longstanding tradition in Green River’s agricultural history, and the Book Cliffs that define the town landscape. The flag begins with a meandering green stripe to represent the titular river and also pay homage to the famous Green River melons. It flows below a dusty red-orange silhouette of the iconic Book Cliffs. When we look above, big blue skies are represent not only Green River’s climate, but also its outlook. The star is split by the crossroads of river, rail, and road, referencing the town’s identity as a waypoint, and the sections radiating from the center also give tribute the missile base of the past. It is rotated at an 18.83° angle for the year that “Greenriver” got its name.

This is just the beginning of the journey for our flag, and we hope that residents of Green River will be proud to fly it high.

To order a flag: Fill out this form or stop by Epicenter. To decrease cost, there will be one large order once enough individual orders have been submitted. We will contact you to collect the payment.

artists-with-flag-mergedPhoto: Designer Jarod Hamm and artist Ashley Ross with the new Green River flag.

Thursday, December 8th, 2016


front-pageImage: Anne Thompson, “Hand Sign (Higginsville, Missouri),” 2015.

We’re excited to announce our next round of Frontier Fellows and returning artists! Click here to download a PDF of the announcement.

Feb/Mar — Walker Tufts
Mar — Catherine Page Harris*
Apr — Hannah Vaughn + Damien Delorme
Apr — Sincerely Interested*
May/Jun — Kirsten Southwell
Jul — Anne Thompson
Sep — Ashley Ross*
Oct/Nov — Jessi Barber

Jan — Clive Romney
Feb/Mar — Sarah Schneider
Apr — Charlie Macquarie
May/Jun — Erika Lynne Hanson
Aug/Sep — Caitlin Denny
Oct — Tristan Wheelock

*Artists with an asterisk next to their name are returning visiting artists, technically not new Frontier Fellows.

Want to join us in 2016 or beyond? Stay tuned here.

Thursday, April 14th, 2016


Structures for Inclusion: Epicenter in New York

Jack Forinash (Epicenter Co-director) and Charlotte XC Sullivan (Epicenter Board Member) recently presented at the Structures for Inclusion 14th annual conference held this year in New York City. Epicenter was selected by Design Corps to present during the Lunch Kucha session, which set a format of 20 slides with 20 seconds per slide.

Within the audience, Christian Ayala and Ashley Ross (Epicenter alumni and New Yorkers) joined in support of Epicenter and spread out to attend the sessions on “public interest design.”

Bryan Bell of Design Corps, founded 1991, is the leading promoter of the field of public interest design (think “public health” or “public interest law” as professional comparatives). Bryan shared his own professional story with the attendees; after graduating from architecture school, Bryan pursued an path working as a designer for a rural nonprofit organization in Pennsylvania that focused on migrant housing. He utilized USDA Rural Development funds to design and build decent and well-intentioned housing for the migrant farm workers. Later in his career, he worked for Samuel Mockbee and Coleman Coker, assisting with the infamous un-funded project for a local Catholic nun in Meridian, MS that is often cited as a spark for Mockbee to start the Rural Studio. Bryan oversaw fifteen or so thesis projects at Rural Studio after founding Design Corps, an organization devoted to establish pathways and metrics for architects and designers working with underserved communities.

Following the SFI Conference over the weekend, Jack attended on scholarship the Public Interest Design Institute for the next two days. Here, real world case studies were presented by architects and designers in the field of public interest design. Conversations involved how to start a project, best practices for community engagement, and how to measure results. The SEED (Social, Economic, Environmental Design) Network, established by Design Corps, seeks to become both a tool and measuring stick for so-called public interest design projects. The training ended with a test, resulting with Jack becoming SEED certified.

Our thanks goes to Bryan Bell and Marie Schacht for hosting and providing scholarships, the presenters (notably John Peterson of Public Architecture), to the fellow participants of the conference and training, to our alumni in New York that hosted Jack and joined in for the conference, and to our own funder, the Union Pacific Foundation which funded the travel and accommodations expenses.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014


AmeriCorps VISTA Report: Ashley Ross

Clockwise from top left: Ashley face-painting at Melon Days as a fund-raiser, Ashley volunteering at the Green River Habitat for Humanity House, Ashley with Shawn Creeden (visiting artist/Frontier Fellow) and his massive embroidery piece, and Ashley and the Epicrew watching fireworks.

“In the summer of 2012, I arrived in Green River as an intern to Richard Saxton, Frontier Fellow. During Saxton’s fellowship, I enjoyed the scorching temperatures, long bike rides on Long Street, and explorative adventures of eroding Buttes. Like many other recent college grads, I was jobless. In fact, to be completely candid, I was absolutely directionless. I had no clue where life was going to take me. Leaving college with a degree in Fine Arts and Sociology had left me perplexed. Where can these soft skills apply in the “real world?” Living in Green River and working at Epicenter seemed like the perfect opportunity to marry my two main interests- art and people. So, I extend my stay in Green River after my month-long internship to become an AmeriCorps VISTA.”

“In my six months here, I have seen great strides in the evolution of Epicenter. I’ve seen and helped the Frontier Fellowship go from being just an internalized artist-in-residence program into a community-based arts program that serves local teens. The Fellowship has blossomed into a unique part of Green River thanks to the grant from United Way of Southeastern Utah. Fellows have hosted workshops at Green River High, Epicenter, and the Community Center. This has been really exciting! We are so very lucky to have such wonderful artists and designers share their special talents with the community.”

“A more personal accomplishment has come in the form of social work. Participating in the H.E.A.T. (Home Energy Assistance Target) program can be a huge help when living in Green River. H.E.A.T. gives applicants a break on their utility bills during winter months. This has been a particularly harsh winter (-18 degrees at the start of the year!), and with sparse job opportunities in these months, it can be difficult to meet our heating needs. Although it is not under the most favorable
circumstances, I’m happy to help sustain the H.E.A.T. Program and Green River residents.”

“On the entertainment/recreational side of things, I’ve coordinated a fitness class at our Community Center which provides a much needed service. Green River doesn’t have a public or private gym or recreation center for adults! In addition to gathering interest, I’ve recruited a very talented local instructor to teach the class, Heidi Taylor. She has been so gracious to dedicate lots of time to this program, and it has been quite successful. Starting this week, the classes wil be held weekly!”

“Thus far as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Green River, I’ve had an exciting and stimulating experience. I’m proud to say I’ve found a way to merge the arts and sociology while helping a non-profit build capacity and sustain itself.”

Ashley’s endless positivity, go-getter attitude, unique art and sociology background, and her incredible approachability has made her an asset for Epicenter and the Community Center. One accomplishment she didn’t mention above was her leadership role in creating and coordinating Spooktacular!, a fundraiser for our non-profit as well as a fun time for the entire community. Ashley has already had many successes in Green River, and we look forward to more!

Thursday, January 10th, 2013


Union Pacific: 150 Years

Dan Harbeke (Director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific Pacific Railroad), Maria Sykes, Chris Lezama, and Ashley Ross

Union Pacific celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2012!!! Happy Birthday, UP!!! Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. Today, Union Pacific Railroad links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail. Additionally, Union Pacific has the Union Pacific Foundation which is the philanthropic arm of Union Pacific Corporation and Union Pacific Railroad. Union Pacific believes that the quality of life in the communities in which its employees live and work is an integral part of its own success. Epicenter and Habitat for Humanity of Castle Country have both received support from the Union Pacific Foundation.

In conjunction with their 150th anniversary celebration in Ogden, Union Pacific invited Epicenter (and other Utah grant recipients) to join them for refreshments aboard their fleet of historic railroad cars. The experience made us nostalgic for days when traveling was luxurious and slow (in a good way). We were honored to spend time with the other Utah grant recipients. During the event each recipient had an opportunity to say a few words about their organizations. Hearing the good that these groups are doing warmed our hearts, and it reminded us that we’re connected to many similar efforts across the state through funders like Union Pacific. Thank you Union Pacific for your support!

Clockwise from top left: Dan Harbeke & Utah Grant Recipients, Union Pacific glass, steam engine wheels, and one of the rooms on the “Long Ranger” car.

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012