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: Zach Bulick

Hi folks, I’m Zach Bulick. A designer and illustrator from Vancouver, British Columbia, with Texas running through my veins. When I’m not drawing things, or trying to find decent Mexican food in Canada, I’m the Creative Director for a non-profit based in the Vancouver’s historic Downtown Eastside. My organization serves an amazing community and works with people to help them overcome homelessness, poverty, and addiction.

I first heard about the Epicenter from my design mentor, Kara. She encouraged me to apply and I thought it would be a fun experience. It was, but it was more. Trying to sum it up is complicated. You live a lifetime in the span of a few weeks, but here’s a small glimpse into my Green River story.

The first week Maria and I lead a screen printing workshop in the high school. Students designed and printed their own shirts, and asked me questions about Canada (yeah, it’s cold. For real). The students and teachers were great, but what stood out to me was the trust that the Epicenter had built within the community. During my fellowship this was affirmed again and again throughout the community. It was clear that this city wasn’t a project for some ambitious graduates, but a place to call home, a place with roots, with neighbours and friends rather than clients or strangers.

Week two brought Summer Summit! The weekend was magic, and I felt a huge privilege to be able to meet so many of the people that had touched, built, and helped shape where Epicenter is today. Artists, designers, makers, doers, all instigators in one way or another, now out in the world impacting their respective communities, and i’m proud to now count myself an alumni. I can’t wait for next year’s reunion and group skydiving! (wink).

A month isn’t a long time, and once I was past the second week, the days became a countdown to leaving what I had spent the first two weeks getting so attached to. Amidst the dread, I lead a community Typography workshop. We talked about the history of type, experimented with different kinds of drawing methods, and created a spatial type installation.

The workshop was on the same day as a local high schooler’s Quinceañera‎. She invited the Epicenter crew, and graciously extended that invitation to me. I felt honored to be invited to such a special event for someone I barely knew, so for the spatial type installation, we decided to create a giant “J” out of traditional mexican paper flowers. We surprised the birthday girl with it installed on the door of the venue. She loved it and the evening was a huge party. Delicious food, dancing in lazers, and coveting botas. The thing dreams are made of, really.

I initially came to the Epicenter to observe how they integrate design process into their programs and community engagement. What I’ve taken away is much more. I leave this place with friends and experiences that are irreplaceable. The Epicenter crew and the Green River community have a way of embracing you in unexpected ways, leaving you more full of life, encouragement, and affirmation, than when you arrived.

Thank you Green River. Thank you Epicenter. See you soon.

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013


Typography Workshop!

We are ecstatic to kick off our Summer Series of Art workshops with our very own Frontier Fellow, Zach Bulick! Zach is a master of type and design, plus he is simply a pure joy to work with. This Saturday, June 8th at 11am we will explore the world of type, experiment with our own fonts, make prints and cards, and create a large scale type installation. YAY!

Thanks to the United Way of Eastern Utah, the Epicenter is able to host special art workshops for our local community members (and of course, all visitors are welcome) through our Arts and Culture Experience, also known as the ACE Program. Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 7th, 2013