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.

Frontier Fellowship Report: Russell Kerr

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.

Thrift Store

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.

Kite Workshop

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.

Reflections

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.

Thanks Y’all.

Monday, September 2nd, 2013
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