A Call to Place

—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.

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.

Frontier Fellowship Report: Geoffrey Holstad

(Mini) Frontier Fellowship Residency: February 20-25, 2015
Geoffrey Holstad, Ojai, CA: geoffreyholstad.com, cabin-time.org


Arrive Moab 10:45am (Canyonlands Field), propeller plane, flying low, dip the wing, a nod to the canyon. The river is so green, must be the one. I think I saw Green River (the town) from the plane, under a single cloud. Mary ferry into town through a Maynard Dixon-y landscape. Quick hellos over a taco truck lunch. Around town tour with Mary, more introductions, get settled into my studio corner for the next five days. Welcome pizza lasagna dinner at the Whitehaus and reading through Mary’s zines, recapping new projects since seeing everyone last. So sleepy, early to bed, early to rise.

Moab morning with Mary and Ginny. Breakfast at Love Muffin Café, with lots of terracotta-dusty mountain bikers, huevos rancheros. Finally got to see Ken Sanders’ Back of Beyond Books. Ken is an old friend of Ed Abbey’s. Far worthy of another solo visit, to really dig through everything. Thrift runs, pick up a bike tire for Armando, a stop at the Rock Shop on the edge of town. The extra dirty rocks outside are cheaper. Car tour and light hikes through Canyonlands on the way home, big sky, no fellow visitors, off-season. Back in Green River for some kickoff computer work and then set up camp in the canyon. Cold but welcome, the river surprisingly loud. Set up the tent fly to cut the wind and collected more than enough firewood (dead, twisted, exposed roots on the shore of the river) in an hour. Read “The Pony Express” before settling in to bed in all the clothes I brought (my bag is empty). Thanks to that strategy, not cold a bit, and slept really sound.

Back to the office at dawn. Truck is packed and the crew is ready to hit the dirt road to Goblin Valley, and BLM-bits outside Green River. On the road, along bumpy, washed out two-track. An exciting, snowy haze makes everything cloudy and muted. It looks cold, and soon feels so. We drop our bags at the yurt, and hit the trail for an 8-mile hike through slot canyons and snow down Little Wild Horse Canyon and out Bell Canyon. So beautiful, and hauntingly quiet. No trace of man, outside of wandering, sandy, narrow singletrack. More snow, the deeper we get into the canyon, through gravel washes and boulder fields. I record whistling free jazz scores, directed by the tracing of single falling snowflakes from the top of the canyon walls to the mud-puddle floor. Is it easier to hike the loop this way or the other way? Sandwiches and summer camp stories back at the yurt, the candles lit long enough to see the snow accumulate.

Snowy day! A shame to have to hightail it back to Green River. Spend the day finishing up design on the Canyon Country Filmstrip Nite Handbill. The evenings’ screening went swimmingly thanks to Tim and Maria. Great turnout, stoked to share this project with everyone!

The rest of my stay this trip is devoted to beginning work on a longer project to design a suite of tee graphics and assets for Epicenter, the John Wesley Powell River History Museum, and the City of Green River. Skateboard for three-a-day coffees from Shady Acres, evening Northern Exposure work dates with Chris and Mary. Two quiet studio days and studio nights.

Self-led tour through the abandoned Grand Circle T-Shirt Shop, an old print-to-order souvenir tee shop on main street in Green River. Dust colored whitewater rafting tees, still hanging around the perimeter of the ceiling, waiting for their season. I take nothing but photos, a Xeroxed catalog, and a sun-faded postcard of Delicate Arch. So much graphic inspiration for this tee project in Green River, showcasing the town as the unique, outdoor recreation destination that it still is today.

I hit the road west with Mary, on U.S. Route 50 (The Loneliest Highway) for Lake Tahoe, tired and inspired. Hot spring hopping, crawling over snow covered passes, petroglyph sites, and Western Family Cinnamon Candy Hearts.

Have you seen Bob?


Wednesday, April 8th, 2015


2015 Visiting Artists & Designers

Announcing, Epicenter’s Frontier Fellows and visiting creative professionals for 2015! Top left to bottom right:

Geoffrey Holstad
Ojai, California, USA (graphic designer and artist)

Rob Loucks
Portland, Oregon, USA (artist and dj)

Pete Collard
London, England, United Kingdom (writer and curator)

Lisa Ward
Portland, Oregon, USA (architect and artist)

Emily Howe, Jordan Gulaskey, and Phillip Dagostino
The West, USA (designer, printmaker, and neurosurgeon respectively)

High Desert Test Sites
Joshua Tree, California, USA (non-profit organization)

Laurelin Kruse
Los Angeles, California, USA (artist and curator)

Sarah Lillegard
Reno, Nevada, USA (artist and educator)

Friday, February 6th, 2015


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