A Call to Place

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

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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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