A Call to Place

—Utah Arts & Museums – For immediate release on March 1, 2016

FF_ArtDevelopment_04-01

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.

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Participating artists/collaboratives:

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.

Curation: Epicenter
Design: Corbin LaMont

For more information on the Fellowship visit frontierfellowship.org.

RSVP to the event here.

HDTS: Epicenter Recap

Julie Brody, Kate Brown, Dominique Cox, Mari Garrett, and Gabie Strong performing “Brainchild Part 3” by Kathleen Johnson and Mark So (click to enlarge)

This weekend Green River welcomed over 100 visitors for HDTS: Epicenter. Twelve different artist groups from around the country showcased projects, installations, and performances in and around Green River, including folk ballads performed in Black Dragon Canyon, interactive hammock weaving (with corn stalks, no less!), and a chance for visitors and locals to be photographed with their car. The project was a collaboration between Epicenter and High Desert Test Sites, an arts organization based in Joshua Tree, California that has put on similar events in the past.

Friday night potluck at Epicenter (click to enlarge)

Things officially kicked off on Friday with a potluck and swap meet hosted at Epicenter. Over 75 people showed up to share food, meet new friends, and catch up with old ones. Several projects went on display, including Alyse Emdur and Michael Parker’s “Geyser Girls” drawing residency at Crystal Geyser and “Rural Light” at the Dunham Melon Stand, Jordan Topiel Paul and J. Gordon Faylor’s “Motel Room” installation at the Robbers Roost, Allan McCollum’s “Reprints” at the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum in Price, and the Puusemp family’s “Gamma,” an installation that made radiation experienceable by sonically representing each radiation wave passing through a small area. Visitors passing through Green River for a pit stop got the opportunity to be photographed with their car as part of Nicole Lavelle’s “Autoland” at the Conoco Gas ’n Go. Those willing to get out of town could visit “Site Specific Hammock 2 and 3” by Bennett Williamson, a set of two hammocks which visitors could participate making by learning a weaving technique. One hammock was made of recycled fabrics, while the other was made from harvested corn stalks.


“Site Specific Hammock 2 and 3” by Bennett Williamson and “Gamma” by the Puusemp Family (click to enlarge)

On Saturday visitors could catch projects they didn’t see the day before as well as attend a few unique events. Charlie Macquarie’s “Library of Approximate Location” was open at Swasey’s Beach, where visitors could peruse a unique collection of books and documents pertinent to Green River, Utah, and the Inland West. Butchy Fuego and the Seeing Trails Division of Fine Arts performed “Doppler” at the Municipal Airport: two trucks, one with Butchy Fuego and a drum kit, the other with Jeremiah Chiu and a keyboard, began at opposite ends of the runway and drove toward each other, meeting in the middle, creating a unique sonic experience for the stationary audience. Steve Badgett’s “River Quaternion”—a giant, floating black pyramid, sailed/hovered down the Green River from the Main Street bridge to the Crystal Geyser as the sun set. In the afternoon, a group of explorers left for Cabin-Time’s “Sleepout” at Wild Horse Butte—a no electronics, all-wilderness overnight experience, while those still in Green River attended the Seeing Trails DFA’s “Past on Present” projection and laser show/party at the Bunker.


“Past on Present” by the Seeing Trails DFA and “Rural Light” by the Michael Parker and Alyse Emdur (click to enlarge)

Sunday began a day of travel and performances. In the morning, Alison Kinney, Daniel Nickerson, Cyrus Smith, and Matt Takiff gave a performance of folk songs and cowboy ballads in Black Dragon Canyon—the unique shape of the canyon enhancing and distorting the acoustics to create a magical experience. In the afternoon, visitors traveled to the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville for a performance of “Brainchild” Part 3, an otherworldly performance set among the alien earth formations that lie between Capitol Reef and the San Rafael Swell.


“Doppler” by the Seeing Trails DFA and “Desert Dreamscape” by Kinney, Nickerson, Smith, and Takiff (click to enlarge)

On Monday things began to wind down, but not before the Seeing Trails DFA led a hike around Blue Castle, a grey-blue monolith north of town. During the hike, visitors could engage with various viewing portals that framed different views of the landscape. The event officially wrapped at noon. Overall it was a highly successful weekend and a great collaboration with High Desert Test Sites.

“River Quaternion” by Steve Badgett

Our participating artists included Steve Badgett, Cabin-Time, Alyse Emdur and Michael Parker, Butchy Fuego and the Seeing Trails Division of Fine Arts, Kathleen Johnson and Mark So, Alison Kinney, Daniel Nickerson, Cyrus Smith, and Matt Takiff, Nicole Lavelle, Charlie Macquarie, Allan McCollum, Jordan Topiel Paul and J. Gordon Faylor, Ephraim, Kiersten, and Raivo Puusemp, and Bennett Williamson.

Thanks to our local volunteers and partners: Allen Burns, Dunham Melons, Gas-N-Go, Green River Thrift Store, PACT, Robbers Roost Motel, and Shady Acres.

Thanks to our wonderful crew of volunteers who made this weekend run so smoothly: Andrea Bacigalupo, Paulina Berczynski, Cari Carmean, Matthew Dannevik, Bob Dornberger, Luke Forsyth, Leah Gallant, Adam Geremia, Marisa Goedhart, Bill Morrison, Joelle Neuenschwander, Antonia, Julia Schenck, and Sophie Trauberman.


“Autoland” by Nicole Lavelle and “Library of Approximate Location” by Charlie Macquarie (click to enlarge)

HDTS: Epicenter was made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts (Art Works–Design), Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Emery County Travel Board, and the Sorenson Legacy Foundation.

Photos and video by Bill Morrison. Find more photos from the event on our instagram and at #hdtsepicenter.

Monday, October 19th, 2015
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HDTS: Epicenter Participating Artists

Epicenter and High Desert Test Sites (HDTS) are co-hosting HDTS: Epicenter on October 9-12, 2015. HDTS: Epicenter is a collaborative curation of 12 artists’ projects, along with many regional points of interest and programs in diverse locations in and around the rural Utah community of Green River, Utah.

Our 12 featured artists:
Steve Badgett
Cabin-Time
Alyse Emdur & Michael Parker
Butchy Fuego
Kathleen Johnson & Mark So
Nicole Lavelle
Charlie Macquarie
Allan McCollum
Jordan Topiel Paul & J. Gordon Faylor
The Puusemp Family (Ephraim, Kiersten & Raivo Puusemp)
Cyrus Smith, Alison Kinney, Daniel Nickerson & Matt Takiff
Bennett Williamson

With additional support and programming by:
Sarah Baugh
Taryn Cowart
Miles Mattison
Richard Saxton & students

…stay tuned for more!

HDTS is a non-profit organization located in Joshua Tree, CA, that supports immersive experiences and exchanges between artists, critical thinkers, and general audiences – challenging all to expand their definition of art to take on new areas of relevancy.

Epicenter is a non-profit organization located in Green River, that provides housing and business resources and promotes the arts to accentuate Green River’s rural pride and pioneering spirit.

This project is made possible through support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, the National Endowment for the Arts, Utah’s Emery County Travel Board, and the Robber’s Roost Motel.

Friday, July 17th, 2015
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Frontier Fellows of 2014

Announcing, Epicenter’s Frontier Fellows for 2014! Top left to bottom right:

Cyrus Smith, Greensboro, NC
cyruswsmith.com

Michelle Benoit, Chicago, IL
cargocollective.com/michellebenoit

Molly Goldberg & Mary Rothlisberger, San Francisco, CA and Green River, UT
mollygoldberg.typepad.com and bangbangboomerang.com

Celia Hollander, Los Angeles, CA
celiaraehollander.com

Ryan Troy Ford, Washington, DC
ryantroyford.com

Grayson Earle, Brooklyn, NY
graysonearle.com

Jordan Paul, Queens, NY
topiel.info

Andrew Hamblin, Berkeley, CA
awhamblin.wix.com/awhamblin

Spencer Kroll, Portland, OR
cargocollective.com/spencekroll

Eliza Fernand, Oakland, CA
elizafernand.com

For more information on Epicenter’s residency program, the Frontier Fellowship, please visit designonthedottedline.org or email us.

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
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Cabin-Time: Green River Field Guide

Last August, Epicenter had the pleasure of collaborating with the folks at Cabin-Time to bring fifteen artists to Green River to set up camp north of town in Desolation Canyon. Surrounded by sky and canyon on the banks of the Green, the residents had plenty to explore and inspire them. In addition to creating a stunning short film documenting the experience, Cabin-Time has curated a Field Guide comprised of work from all the participants including Epicenter. The guide was made in collaboration with Issue Press, an independent publishing house and print shop based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. To say that you should purchase a copy of this beautifully made Field Guide is an understatement, get Cabin-Time in your life today. Hey, maybe you could read it on the beach.

Field Guide Specifications
Process: 2-color (purple and orange) risograph interiors on 9 different 70#t French Paper Co. Pop-Tone papers, 1-color cover on 100#c French Paper Co. Pop-Tone Orange Fizz paper; Wire-o binding
Pages: 72
Dimensions: 5″ x 7″
Edition Size: 150

Cabin-Time 5 included a few past and future Epicenter collaborators: Charlotte X.C. Sullivan (Epicenter’s Frontier Fellowship Coordinator), Cyrus W. Smith (January 2014 Frontier Fellow), and Mary Rothlisberger (April 2014 Frontier Fellow). We look forward to further strengthening the connections between Cabin-Time and Epicenter. Future fun and forever beach days.

Charlotte X.C. Sullivan
Ford the River, Part Two: Wrapping a stone in silk string (again), an immobile compass built. Part Two in a series of pre-digital navigational tools. An homage to mystery, a grounding place to carry all my weight. It’ll get cut down later and spun into gold.

Cyrus W. Smith
During my time at Cabin-Time, I focused on music and songwriting. Bringing with me a travel size guitar, a baritone ukulele, and a battery powered keyboard, I produced nine new songs. The melodies and lyrics were generated on walks, around fires, and while perched on boulders high above the canyon floor on the group’s many explorations of the surrounding environment. The songs then serve as a record of my experience in the desert, as well as a portrait of our temporary home and community. On our last night at camp, I debuted the suite of songs at a “house show” we put on at the abandoned cabin next to our campsite.

Mary Rothlisberger
As a part of the Cabin-Time Crew, my on-site role is similar to a camp counselor– working socially with the group dynamics, domestic systems, safety, adventure, and overall fun. For the first few days, I worked with residents and crew to build creative living systems for our temporary community spaces. I sewed a large patchwork that we rigged from the trees to serve as our community studio and gathering space during our time in the canyon. I explored my physical relationship to landscape by letting place and action transform the things I brought with me. I spent the week crocheting a vanishing point and through ritual and intention, I turned it into a Forgetting Place.







Cabin-Time 5: Green River Residents: Carson Davis Brown, Sarah Darnell, Stephanie Dowda, Ryan Greaves, Geoff Holstad, Ben Hunter, Emily Julka, Bridget Frances Quinn, Steven Rainey, Mary Rothlisberger, Cyrus W. Smith, Charlotte X. C. Sullivan, Adam Weiler, Meg Whiteford, and Sarah Williams.

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
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Frontier Fellowship Report: Cyrus W. Smith

I came to Green River for the first time in the summer of 2013 as a participant in Cabin-Time, a roaming artist residency, which took place in Desolation Canyon just north of town. I was immediately drawn to the majesty of the surrounding landscape, and the intimacy of the community. While I thoroughly enjoyed my week exploring the acoustic properties of the rock formations, I had very little opportunity to interact with the community of Green River. And so, I decided to return to Green River as a Frontier Fellow with Epicenter, if only to meet the good people, and continue the explorations begun last summer.

“The Most Interesting Person In Green River”
I began my fellowship with a search for the “Most Interesting Person in Green River.” With the help of Epicenter co-director, Maria Sykes, we conducted a vote at the Green River High School homecoming basketball game. From these results we compiled a list of finalists who will be profiled in the upcoming Green River Magazine. I focused my attention on one finalist in particular, Glenn Baxter, who was kind enough to sit in for an interview. My afternoon with Glenn was a memorable one, and I look forward to seeing his stories in print.

A few of Green River’s “Most Interesting People,” who will be featured in the upcoming Green River Magazine: Glenn Baxter, Lisa Hackett, Dale Richards, and Orrin McKayle.

The Veterans Archive
During my time here, I was able to conduct a class assignment for Craig Gowans’ 12th grade language arts class. The assignment introduced the students to oral history and the art of the interview. We asked each student to identify and interview a veteran living in Green River. During one of the class sessions, we asked Tracy Siaperas, an Epicenter board member and former US Marine, to join us for an in class interview. Tracy gave a frank report on her time in the service and her reasons for serving. As it turns out Tracy was a pioneering woman in the Marine Corps, being one of the first women to be considered as infantry (an unofficial title at the time). A transcript of this interview can be found at the Green River History Museum Archives.

Selections from the Green River History Museum Veterans Archives, featuring the dress blues of Epicenter board member and U.S. Marine, Tracy Siaperas (formerly Tracy Darr).

Songwriting Workshop
During my stay, I was also able to participate in Epicenter’s high school internship program, conducting a songwriting workshop for Epicenter interns, Judith Trejo and Jori Pinneo. Over the course of four weeks Judith and Jori worked on lyrics, song arrangement, performance, the use of music equipment, and the basics of recording software. These sessions were most definitely a highlight of my stay in Green River. In the end, I feel I learned as much from them as they did from me. Judith and I are pictured here on the last day of the songwriting workshop.

Cyrus with Judith Trejo during a songwriting workshop. Photo Credit: Ryann Savino.

Monday, February 3rd, 2014
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Epicrew January 2014

Moving Group Portrait by Charlotte XC Sullivan.

Meet the January 2014 Epicrew! Crew Count: 11. From Right to Left: Cyrus Smith, Chris Lezama, Mary Rothlisberger, Charlotte X. C. Sullivan, Maria Sykes, Jack Forinash, Sarah Baugh, Nicole Lavelle, Armando Rios, and Ryann Savino. Not pictured: Justin Queen.

Please enjoy the diversity of the group through the Q&A session below:

Q: What’s your age, birth place, zodiac sign, and spirit animal?
Sarah: 28 / Hope, Idaho / Capricorn / white-tailed deer
Jack: 28 / Alabama / Aquarius / seahorse
Nicole: 26 / San Francisco, California / Leo (Cancer cusp) / wild housecat
Chris: 30 / Daly City, CA / Aquarius / Donatello from the Ninja Turtles
Justin: 27 / Maybee, Michigan / Saggitarius / phoenix
Armando: 25 / San Angelo, Texas / Leo / fox
Mary: 30 / Killeen, Texas / Virgo / opossum
Ryann: 23 / Placerville, California / Virgo / doe
Cyrus: 33 / Portland, Oregon / Taurus / unknown
Charlotte: 29 / Boston, Massachusetts / Pisces / red fox
Maria: 29 / San Diego, CA / Virgo (Libra cusp) / ringtailed cat

Q: Where’s your favorite place to eat in Green River?
Sarah: Breakfast at West Winds, salad bar lunch at Tamarisk, and taco dinner (seasonal) at La Veracruzana.
Jack: Chow Hound.
Nicole: Tamarisk salad bar.
Chris: A back room booth at the West Winds or a counter stool at Ray’s.
Justin: Chow Hound.
Armando: The city park.
Mary: West Winds, late night. Like, late late night.
Ryann: At my Aunt Katherine’s house.
Cyrus: Chow Hound (love the BLT).
Charlotte: West Winds.
Maria: I like to belly-up to the bar at Ray’s Tavern for a burger and a pint. Juke box, tourists, and free pool: what more could a girl need?

Q: What brings you to Epicenter this January? What brought you to Green River originally?
Sarah: I’m here for one week with Nicole Lavelle to work on the upcoming Green River Magazine! I came to Green River in August of 2012 for the Frontier Fellowship. I’ve been here a total of four times since then, mostly as a Fellow.
Nicole: I’m here with Sarah Baugh to work on the Green River Magazine, and to get my annual winter dose of Green River. I came here originally because my friend in Alabama said, “Do you know about these guys? They’re building stuff out in the desert.” I had pictured a Burning Man vibe with geodesic domes and Epicenter actually literally building stuff in the middle of the desert. Anyways, even though I was wrong about the hippy vibe, the work the Epicenter was doing was compelling to me as a young designer just out of school, uninterested in working long hours to make Nike commercials. They provided an alternative model of practice, or at least they were investigating one, and I wanted to be a part of it. Years later, the model of young-creative-professional-forging-ahead that I learned from Epicenter is integral to the way I work. I’ve been here five times, but I had stopped counting.
Mary: I moved to Green River in November because of affordable housing options. I believe the power of small communities to enable positive change and as an citizen-artist, I prefer to work and live in towns of under 1,000. Small towns are for big ideas; open spaces never close. I first came through Green River to photograph the post office. I met Maria at the beach that evening. Haven’t really left the beach since. I spent a week on the beach with Cabin-Time last summer. Went to the beach for my birthday with new friends from Epicenter. Visits to the frozen winter beach to look at the moon. Have plans to set the record for consecutive beach visits as soon as its warm enough to read outside. I ended up at the beach here by accident, but my relationship with Green River started in February 2012 when Molly Goldberg and I applied to the Frontier Fellowship. We’ll be here together in April for adventure, intrigue, and a tornado of good old-fashioned fun.
Cyrus: I am the Frontier Fellow for the month of January. While in Green River I will be working with a group of high school students on an Oral History project. I am also seeking out the “Most Interesting Person in Green River,” who I hope to meet and interview for the upcoming Green River Magazine. I first came to Green River in August 2013 as part of the Cabin Time Residency which took place north of town in Desolation Canyon. This is my first time back, and I am looking forward to spending time in town, meeting the good people, and taking walks around town.
Charlotte: I am working at Epicenter this January to help select Fellows for 2014. I originally came to Green River because I wanted to collaborate with Jack and Maria, as I was inspired (via their Vimeo account) by their “LET’S DO THIS!” style work ethic as citizen architects. I also wanted to do an art residency in a remote, desert location, but didn’t want to wait for applications I had submitted to other programs to be processed. So, with Jack and Maria’s support, I decided the fastest way to do a residency of this sort was just to start one. Since January 8, 2011, I have returned to Green River three times: in September, 2011 to oversee the installation of Epicenter’s Antipode, A Site-Specific Billboard On the Frontier, in August, 2013 to participate in Cabin-Time 5, and in January, 2014, to assist with the Fellowship selection process.

Q: What do you do full-time at Epicenter?
Jack: I’m Principal of Housing and the Financial Manager.
Chris: I’m the Community Development Specialist. I assist Green River in a few of its ongoing community development initiatives.
Justin: I’m a part time employee facilitating Epicenter’s separation from PACT into its own nonprofit entity.
Armando: AmeriCorps VISTA, Housing Resources.
Ryann: I’m the Community Development AmeriCorps VISTA. I help out with the Frontier Fellowship program, run the Epicenter Etsy store, manage Social Services, work on our High School ACE Internship program, facilitate Windows on Broadway projects, help at the Boys and Girls Club, and translate documents in and out of Spanish.
Maria: I’m a co-director. I’m the principal over all things arts and culture related. I also work heavily on economic development and affordable housing projects and programs.

Q: Why do you enjoy working at Epicenter?
Jack: It feels like an adventure in my daily life. Gaining community presence and trust provides fulfillment and legitimacy for Epicenter and for me.
Chris: I enjoy working in a collaborative atmosphere with passionate people with differing interests and skill sets. There’s also always an influx of new people, projects, ideas that makes every day at Epicenter different than the one before it.
Justin: Because it rocks my world and this world.
Armando: Well, my colleagues of course. They are all great, passionate people who share my love of the river beach.
Ryann: So many reasons! I love the variety of the tasks I am able to work on at Epicenter. The crew here is dedicated and knowledgeable which makes me excited to work alongside them. I get to speak Spanish and work on creative projects with youth. It is wonderful to get to spend my time working to help a town that I really care about.
Maria: Every day I see the impact of my work, what I’ve co-created. Also, I’m madly in love with the town, the landscape, and the residents of Green River.

Q: How does working at/with Epicenter fit into your big picture/career/life?
Jack: Epicenter serves as an alternative model of professional practice, where architects and designers are able serve as community members helping to navigate and facilitate resolutions, rather than coming in as outside, top-down experts. This model is something I believe in and want to grow to its full form to exist as a compliment to traditional practice.
Nicole: I still think about the manifesto Epicenter had in their “About” section back in 2010 and 2011. When I was teaching design I had my students read it for a different perspective on the practice and they were repeatedly compelled by it. It was passionate, it was naive, it was driven by a fervent desire for something different than what was offered, something fulfilling. And that still resonates with me. I don’t know how to speak about my “big picture” or “career,” but I do know that immersing myself into a place and trying to understand it is a model of inquiry that fits into my life.
Ryann: I wrote my thesis about the Green River Watershed and my family history within it. Coming to work at Epicenter feels like a homecoming. I know this place will always be special to me, and I know I want to continue pursuing work with youth, the arts, and Spanish.
Cyrus: Some of my favorite artists and thinkers are in Green River this winter. Could not have kept me away.
Charlotte: I am working towards having a life that is based part-time in a rural location and part-time in an urban location. Currently, I view Green River as an excellent candidate for my rural base, with New York City, being the best candidate for my urban base. There are ways of working in Green River that are impossible in New York, and there are ways of working in New York that are impossible in Green River. I think there is harmony to be found in this opposition, which is why, artistically, and spiritually, I am seeking a hybrid-life.

Q: What’s your top Green River memory?
Sarah: Rafting Westwater Canyon!
Nicole: I stole this from Ryann but: square dancing at Melon Days 2013.
Mary: I’ve had a good number of best days here. Most of them were at the beach or the kitchen table. The time I won at backgammon, early morning camp chores, the stars in late summer, endless drives to somewhere, listening to records, writing by candlelight, playing cards, the color gold, copy editing, the sound of the train, and every great vista.
Armando: One of my top memories was the whole Summer Summit experience, but a specific memory of Summer Summit took place on the mighty Green River. We had been floating down the Green for a few hours and my turn to man the ducky had finally come. I was nervous when the first set of rapids approached; especially after the river guides yelled at me, “Don’t stop paddling!” I didn’t stop, and those first rapids ended up being a huge thrill and lots of fun.
Ryann: Too many to pick just one! Square dancing in the park during Melon Days is definitely up there. The wind was whipping and I couldn’t stop smiling as my dance partner taught me how to “do-si-do.”
Cyrus: Laying on our backs on a dirt road. Staring up at a moonless sky. Deep in Desolation Canyon.
Charlotte: On August 23, 2013, I spent the entire morning thirty-five feet in the air gold-leafing Andrew Rogers Elements sculpture on Monument Hill.
Maria: My first Melon Days (2009) was also my epic quarter-of-a-century birthday: endless melon, creating the melon monster, and my first weird hippies in the desert party. Additionally, that weekend was the first and last time my brother, Steven, visited me before he passed away. It was such a special weekend for me!

Q: What’s something that you’re really excited about right now?
Jack: Right now, more than ever, every song seems to apply to my life, so it’s hard to say there is any focused excitement. Based on listening to the album repeatedly yesterday, Lorde’s song “Buzzcut Season” seems to best express my current mood, outlook, and life. That’s probably a flash in the pan, but it seems at all times there is an all-consuming song, with a couple others to round out a mini-soundtrack.
Chris: Sandwiches. I recently ate at one of the Bay Area’s celebrated sandwich shops, Ike’s Place, and at Las Vegas’ famous Earl of Sandwich. Both sandwiches were delicious. I look forward to furthering my sandwich eating experiences in the new year.
Justin: The text, Tao-te Ching. It’s wonderful.
Armando: James Blake’s album, Overgrown. I have listened to it since the day it came out, but fell back in love with it pretty recently. Retrograde is probably the best song of 2013.
Mary: Astrology. Never not working on a Zodiac Library of all my friends, colleagues and historical figures.
Ryann: Black Dragon Canyon. I’m super intrigued by the calendar system petroglyphs.
Cyrus: The sunsets this time of year are amazing.
Charlotte: Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” music video, directed by Hype Williams.
Maria: This is easy: Iceland. My life became consumed with all things Iceland a few months ago when I began planning a trip to present the community design work of Epicenter at Design March, Iceland’s annual design conference. I’ve always been fascinated by the films, art, literature, and pop music of Iceland, and now I have a focused reason to continue my research of their culture. My bedside table is packed with books on Iceland’s sagas, folklore, architecture, and history.

Q: What book, movie, or person is significant to your work/process/life? Why?
Chris: One of my favorite books is Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis It happens to be about my favorite baseball team, the Oakland A’s, but it’s also a pretty universal story about how an underdog succeeded against all odds. I’d like to think that with enough cunning and daring, an underdog can thrive, and this book demonstrates that.
Justin: St. Francis of Assisi: He’s a great model of simplicity and service and wearing sandals. Honorable Mention: Solanus Casey, Detroit’s very own almost-saint!
Charlotte: One of my current role models is Kennon Kay, the director of agriculture at the Queens County Farm, in New York City, where I work. Her leadership style is infused with un-ending optimism and unintimidating confidence. She is an avid-problem solver and marvelous strategist even though she never acts as though she knows all the answers.

Q: If you could have any superpower what would it be? Why?
Justin: Geographic manipulation (the ability to create things as awesome as Goblin Valley, the Swell, and the Bookcliffs) so there would be even more amazing hiking and adventuring to be had.
Charlotte: Teleportation, as it would allow me to travel back and forth between New York and Green River more easily.
Maria: This is one of my favorite questions to ask people. An answer can tell you a lot about someone. However, I never have a consistent answer for myself. What does that say about me? Maybe I’m still figuring it out. Today, I’m feeling like a greedy cheater, so I’ll go with power mimicry.

Q: What’s your favorite place/space in/near Green River? Why?
Jack: This is probably too overt, but it seems easy to say it’s the river beach. I require fresh water access wherever I live. It’s always been a part of my life. Swasey’s Beach is far enough away to feel a sense of escapism. Every time I’m there, everyone is relaxed, calm, and willing to be goofy. I like the systematic preparations I go through in order to go there, preparing the car with chairs, cooler with ice, site radio for music, salt and vinegar chips, Star magazine, sheets so that you can lay on the sand but not be dirty, cribbage and backgammon, and inner tube floats. A lot of activity, then about eighteen minutes of riding in the car, anticipating if our favorite spot will be available and how cold the water will be.
Sarah: Three Rocks. It’s the highest point in the area and the view is incredible.
Nicole: Three Rocks, because the high school students told me about it. This place is also known as FM Hill to the mom-aged crowd, because you can drive to the top and catch all of the radio stations in town. It’s the highest point in the near Green River vicinity (besides the Book Cliffs) and you get a 360-degree view—the town, the reef, the Book Cliffs, the Lasal Mountains, the Henry Mountains, other mountains…
Justin: The San Rafael Swell. Every time I go there, I go to Vulcan.
Armando: The State Park boat launch, it’s beautiful and you can watch trains pass on the bridge.
Mary: I like the moon from here the best of all.
Ryann: The river. It reminds me of my Uncle, who was the original reason I came to Green River two years ago. I love the history wrapped up in its silty waters, the sense of possibility you feel while floating down into the canyons, and watching it ebb and flow with the seasons.
Charlotte: I really love the White Haus, where Jack Forinash lives. When I am there, to quote the painter Joan Snyder, “I feel as if I’m away from time.”

Q: Who is the most interesting person in Green River and why?
Sarah: JoAnne Chandler. She’s a walking, talking archive of information about Green River.
Nicole: Jo Ann Chandler. I don’t know how she remembers everything, but she does. She doesn’t run the archives, she IS the archives.
Chris: I think Richard Seeley is the most interesting person in Green River. He has a lot of deep knowledge about seemingly disparate topics, including but not limited to: petroglyphs, refrigeration, Mormon history, heating devices, and pie.

Thursday, January 16th, 2014
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Cabin Time 5: Green River, Utah

Photo by Carson Davis Brown

Cabin-Time is a roaming creative residency to remote places. We had the pleasure of meeting the folks at Epicenter and collaborating with them to bring 15 artists to Green River to set up camp north of town in Desolation Canyon.

We love Green River. It was quite the experience to be greeted by new friends, hoot-hollerin and waving flags at our arrival. So American! Residents traveled from all over the country and everyone fell in love with the landscape and mystique that Green River and nearby Canyon offered. Late summer is monsoon season and we experienced it in full force–record rainfalls made for a dangerous road, muddy river, and cloudy skies. After three wet days, we were ready for the rain to go away. By Tuesday afternoon the sky cleared and we made it back into town for a party.

With Green River being the melon capital of the United States we wanted to taste as many of them as we could. We met at Epicenter and invited the public to join us for a table filled with all the in-season melons we could get. We picked up two of each from Dunham’s Melons: cantaloupe, crenshaw, israeli, canary, honeyloupe, lampkin, honeydew, and watermelon. Cabin-Time resident Sarah Williams made a watermelon + tomato salad and quinoa salad to round out the meal. We enjoyed meeting people and being back in civilization for the evening. I, Ryan Greaves, want to apologize for missing the mayor at the event. Our timings got crossed and we were craving twist cones from Chow Hound.

Photos by Carson Davis Brown

Canyon life had a beautiful rhythm to it–everyone setting off in different directions to work on their projects, rambling in and out of camp for meals and hangouts throughout the day. A big part of Cabin-time is meeting new people and working collaboratively. The theme that we chose to work with for this Cabin-Time was “Ford the River.” We interpreted that in many ways, but for any journey or crossing of a difficult obstacle, you have others with you. Many individual projects involved the participation of other residents, right down to the planning and coordination of the residency itself.

We left Green River with lasting friendships and memories of time spent together. Rain storms, sun dogs, sagebrush, and swims; every best day right in a row.

Visit cabin-time.com for more information about Cabin-Time.

Cabin-Time 5: Green River Residents
Carson Davis Brown (Grand Rapids, MI)
Sarah Darnell (Ventura, CA)
Stephanie Dowda (Atlanta, GA)
Ryan Greaves (Grand Rapids, MI)
Geoff Holstad (Ventura, CA)
Emily Julka & Ben Hunter (Madison, WI)
Bridget Frances Quinn (Austin, TX)
Steven Rainey (Grand Rapids, MI)
Mary Rothlisberger (Palouse, WA)
Cyrus W. Smith (Portland, OR)
Charlotte X. C. Sullivan (Brooklyn, NY)
Adam Weiler (Holland, MI)
Meg Whiteford (Los Angeles, CA)
Sarah Williams (Los Angeles, CA)

Monday, October 7th, 2013
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