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.
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.
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.
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.
—Maria Sykes – Epicenter Principal of Arts & Culture
Over the years Epicenter has received support from countless individuals, foundations, and entities. One faithful stream of support has come from our Frontier Fellows who come from all around the world to lend their enthusiasm and talents to Epicenter’s daily practice in Green River. Thanksgiving seems like the perfect day to thank our Frontier Fellows and make a special announcement (more on that below). Thank you to our 50+ Frontier Fellows who have contributed 8,000+ hours to Epicenter through leading workshops, exploring and documenting the region, and generating work that is informed by Green River’s history, people, and the surrounding desert landscape. The Fellowship has featured graphic designers, visual artists, architects, sound artists, a doctor, printers, musicians, cooks, explorers, photographers, organizers, social practice artists, educators, curators, filmmakers, collaborators, writers, a poet, historians, illustrators, and more.
We’re excited to announce that we are celebrating the fifth year of the Fellowship through an exhibition in early 2016! The upcoming exhibition is a retrospective reflecting on the arc of the Frontier Fellowship and will feature work created by Fellows during their respective residencies in Green River. The exhibition will be housed in the Rio Gallery in downtown Salt Lake City from March 18 – May 13, 2016; please save the date of March 18, 2016, for an opening reception.
This exhibition is made possible through a partnership with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums and support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
What to be a Frontier Fellow? Instructions to apply are here. All applications are due in-hand at 9AM on December 7, 2015.
Announcing, Epicenter’s Frontier Fellows and visiting creative professionals for 2015! Top left to bottom right:
Ojai, California, USA (graphic designer and artist)
Portland, Oregon, USA (artist and dj)
London, England, United Kingdom (writer and curator)
Portland, Oregon, USA (architect and artist)
High Desert Test Sites
Joshua Tree, California, USA (non-profit organization)
Los Angeles, California, USA (artist and curator)
Reno, Nevada, USA (artist and educator)
Photo by Jordan Topiel Paul, Epicenter’s August 2014 Frontier Fellow.
The Frontier Fellowship is now accepting proposals for 2015-17.
The Frontier Fellowship provides creative professionals the opportunity to live and work in Green River, Utah (pop. 953), for two to eight weeks. From this rural place, and in the context of the frontier, Fellows have the opportunity to generate new work that is informed by the residents of Green River and the surrounding desert landscape. Epicenter, a design studio instigating positive change through community-based projects and programs, facilitates Fellowships throughout the year. Epicenter encourages applications regardless of one’s background, focus, or specialty.
Epicenter is a non-profit organization located in a historic building in downtown Green River. It houses an office space, small basement workshop, outdoor workspace, and five full-time employees. While in residence, Fellows spend half of their time working on personal projects and half of their time contributing to a project initiated by Epicenter. Fellows are given access to Epicenter’s vast network of partners, all the tools you need to build a house, and workspace within the office and workshop. The Fellowship requires a $400 residency fee and is unpaid. Travel, living, and materials stipends are available on a limited basis.
To apply for the Frontier Fellowship:
2. Send a one-page cover letter, your curriculum vitæ, a completed application*, and a piece** that exemplifies the concept of “frontier” to:
P.O. Box 444
Green River, UT 84525-0444
3. Project proposals are accepted, but are not required. We encourage Fellows to explore the community before fully determining their project(s). Please limit proposals to one page.
Applications are due in hand Friday, January 9, 2015 at 5pm MST.
*Email Maria for the most recent version of the Frontier Fellowship application.
**This work must be an original work of your creation. There are no size restrictions or medium preferences. Please provide us with a written URL if the work is housed on the Internet.
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.
G’day readers, I started to write this report from the frontier during my last day as a Frontier Fellow, I now find myself typing the final words over 4 weeks later after returning home to the wet and windy land down under. Resuming my normal job running a graphic design a program at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia a long-long way from the magical town of Green River.
I arrived at the frontier by train from Denver armed with a jar of vegemite and not really knowing what to expect of Green River. I was greeted by several Green River folk waving American flags, which amused the train conductor no end. He was still coming to terms with the length of time I was about to spend in Green River, ‘You have come all the way from Australia to stay here for 4 weeks’. If he only knew what amazing wonders await in the sleepy town of Green River he may not have been so surprised.
The Frontier Fellowship was an awesome experience, I spent my time moving between, Epicenter, the Boys and Girls Club and the Thrift Store. As well as joining the Epicenter crew on team building trips to Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon. We also managed a rafting trip down the mighty Colorado River.
The Green River Thrift Store needed to create an online presence to generate income for the community center and it’s related activities. I developed a communication strategy and visual identity to help the store sell interesting items online. We created an instagram profile to use the #thritfy hashtags to sell items online. This method also allows the store to show people outside of Green River cool things we found in the store. In addition to the instagram feed we started a facebook page to compliment the existing tumblr and instagram presence. The logo itself pays homage to the array of neon signs located through out the township.
I also ran a kite-making workshop for the local community as part of Epicenters arts program. It was a lot of fun the kids who participated really enjoying the process of making and decorating their kites.
I came to Green River to experience Epicenters approach to community design, wanting to experience the imbedded nature of the program and the people that are Epicenter. I have seen a lot of community focused design programs in my travels but I think Epicenter stands out as a shining example of best practice for this type of ‘social design’. Epicenter are more than just a design studio, they are deeply committed to the community of Green River engaging on all levels of the community from local government to pie making contests. This approach to be active participants in for the long hall is to real benefit for the community and also the wider design community.
My time in the desert was amazing.
Last year, we consolidated aspects of our services and resources into the Arts & Culture Experience (ACE) Program with help from funding through the United Way of Eastern Utah. Previously, the Frontier Fellowship was a 4-week artists-in-residence program that engaged the community on low level, we sporadically held art/design workshops at Epicenter and at Green River’s High School, and the high school internship was simply an idea. Six months into ACE, the Fellows teach art/design workshops at Epicenter and in the high school and/or mentor teen interns interested in the arts. So far we’ve held nine workshops and hosted two interns. Additionally, the Fellows are still fully able to complete their own projects outside of community-based work.
In 2013, Epicenter has already received 20 applications for visiting artists-in-residence (Frontier Fellows), and we’re still receiving applications. Over the next two weeks we’ll schedule our Fellows. One of the major factors in acceptance or denial this year is the artist’s past experience in mentoring teens and/or hosting arts workshops. We feel confident that we’ll have seven Frontier Fellows in from March to November of 2013. We’ve already scheduled Fellows and art/design workshops in January, February, and March.
This month, Epicenter will host a Linoleum Printing Workshop that’s open to all ages (those under the age of 13 require an adult). Epicenter will also teach 2-3 Linoleum Printing Workshops in the Green River High School art classes in late January or early February. These classes will be taught by Epicenter staff and AmeriCorps VISTAs, Ashley Ross and Maria Sykes. More details on these workshops can be found on our Facebook page.
From February – March, we’ll have two returning Frontier Fellows (Nicole Lavelle and Sarah Baugh of Portland, OR) working on creating a community newspaper with teen interns and through hosting workshops at Green River High School and Epicenter. Through this project, workshop attendees and interns will learn about layout design, interviewing, transcribing, historic research, utilizing local resources (e.g. the Green River Archives), writing, photography, illustration, and the newspaper printing process. A very detailed lesson plan is available for this project upon request.
During the second week of March, University of New Mexico plans to be in Green River specifically to work with our ACE Program. Their project will focus on creating inflatable architecture/sculpture, learning about local agriculture (specifically seeds), and filmmaking with teens. This project will be lead by a UNM Art professor (Catherine Harris), 12 university students, and 2-3 GRHS teachers. At the end of the week, there will be a final show of the inflatable architecture/sculptures and projected films.