—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.
“What are you doing?”
You are not the first to ask.
The tangibility of print brought me to my most recent work “Desert West“. I gathered, I collected, I researched, I wrote, I explored— themes emerged.
Digitally I kept scattered track of things on a blog entitled, “It’s all happening“. This came from my desire to share what I was doing immediately, “Desert West” must travel to you by mail or hand. It had to be edited, it had to be finessed. It’s all happening, gave me the freedom to track and share without such necessities.
“Desert West” is a travel guide of sorts. It hopes to inform and delight the reader, to help them do more than pass through. There are plenty of guides that give you the must stops, “Desert West” is there to help you discover. The content was guided by my experience here, and it was shaped by what I collected.
The introduction is called ‘Home is a Waypoint’ below is an excerpt:
“The future of town is flux, but perhaps it is just as in flux as it always have been. As long as the highway and the railroad stay, Green River will always be a waypoint. In the city archives there are binders on many of the families that have been here since the turn of the century. People have made their home here and they’re not planning on leaving anytime soon. The passer-throughs may see the abandoned buildings or slow streets, but if you live here, those things fade into the background and you just see home.”
“Desert West” is the end of my time in Green River, but along the way there were other projects. I had the pleasure of teaching in the creative writing class at Green River High School about blogging. I created a blog, ‘Workshop’ to help teach them.
In my first week, I met John Hughes, an enthusiastic educator at Book Cliff Elementary. He created a project called ‘Our Town’ with his students to help them learn and share about Green River. Armando (an Epicenter AmeriCorps VISTA) and I made him a six foot tall display from a paper model he made me.
I also mailed around forty postcards to spread the joy I was finding here in Green River.
I know I will return. Green River has left me with plenty of ideas. For now, the accumulation is in “Desert West”. Purchase your copy of “Desert West” on Epicenter’s Etsy store located here.