Rural Utah to host unique cultural convening

Co-hosted by Epicenter (Green River) and Granary Arts (Ephraim) from March 30 – April 1, the 2022 Spring Summit in Green River brings together designers, architects, artists, curators, cultural producers, and community organizers to gather around the concept of “Home.” This three-day event is structured around the cultivation and strengthening of creative investment in rural Utah by convening a network of leaders who are passionate about the culture and community of rural areas, thus creating opportunities for new collaborative work to develop in rural Utah and beyond.

Rather than the typical conference format, the 2022 Spring Summit places an emphasis on conversation, peer-run workshops, and interactive group experiences to facilitate a more horizontal exchange of ideas. A wide variety of activities will be offered including lectures by campfire, hands-on workshops, a public service project, walking project tours, a pop-up swap meet, a public art installation, performances, and plenty of group meals. All attendees are invite-only, ranging from early-career practitioners to experts in their field. All enter the Summit as both participants and contributors, to share and learn from each other.

Follow along with the event by tuning into #ComeHomeToGreenRiver on social media, and consider attending the in-person MASS Design Group lecture (RSVP here).

Photo: 2016 Summer Summit closing ceremony photo (Danny Baxter, Green River, Utah)

Featured contributors include:

Joseph Kunkel & Matt Smith: MASS Design Group (Santa Fe, NM)
MASS Design Group’s mission is to research, build, and advocate for architecture that promotes justice and human dignity. Kunkel & Smith will deliver a public Keynote Lecture at the Summit.

Elpitha Tsoutsounakis (Salt Lake City, UT)
Elpitha D. Tsoutsounakis is a Cretan American designer, printer, and educator based in so-called Salt Lake City, Utah. She is an assistant professor and founding faculty in the Multi-disciplinary Design program at the University of Utah, where she teaches design studios, research methods, and visual strategy. Tsoutsounakis will deliver a private Keynote Lecture and hold her Ochre Office Hours during the Summit.

Emilie Taylor-Welty (New Orleans, LA)
Emilie Taylor Welty leads the design-build projects of the Tulane School of Architecture’s Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design. She also serves as the Associate Director of Tulane’s Architecture program where she is a leader in the design-build field and focuses on teaching students how to be better designers, makers, and citizens. Emilie Taylor-Welty joins the Summit roster to contribute to multiple aspects of the event.

Nancy Rivera (Salt Lake City, UT)
Nancy Rivera is a Mexican-American visual artist, curator, and arts administrator. As an artist, she works primarily in the fields of photography, video, sculpture, and installation. Rivera is one of many Utah-based curators that Granary Arts has invited to present at the Summit.

Ashley Hanson & Brian Laidlaw (Moab, UT & Granite Falls, MN)
Ashley Hanson is an artist, community organizer, entrepreneur and advocate for arts in rural areas. Hanson was a 2018 Obama Fellow and a 2019 Bush Fellow. Along with Brian Laidlaw, poet, songwriter and educator, they are The Family Trade, a band that will lead a songwriting workshop and perform a public concert at the Summit. More at .

Chip Thomas (Navajo Nation)
Chip Thomas, aka “jetsonorama,” is a photographer, public artist, activist, and physician who has been working between Monument Valley and The Grand Canyon on the Navajo nation since 1987. Chip will install a new artwork as well as deliver a Keynote Lecture for Summit attendees and Green River High School students.

Ken Layne: Desert Oracle (Joshua Tree, CA)
Ken Layne is the editor and publisher of DESERT ORACLE, the pocket-sized field guide to the mysterious American Southwest, and the author of Desert Oracle Vol. 1 and the desert utopian (dystopian?) novel Dignity. Every Friday night — and anytime on podcast-delivery systems — Layne hosts DESERT ORACLE RADIO on KCDZ 107.7 FM in Joshua Tree, CA. Layne will deliver his Campfire Stories at a private event during the Summit.

William Tyler (Los Angeles, CA)
William Tyler is a guitarist and composer who crafts instrumental soundscapes living somewhere between new age, folk, and avant garde classical. During the Summit, he’ll contribute a soundtrack to the event including the private opening dinner.

The Spring Summit is sponsored by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums and the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, AmeriCorps, Colorado River & Trails Expeditions (“CRATE”), Desert Oracle, Emery Telcom, Field Notes, Green River High School, Hatt Ranch, John Wesley Powell River History Museum, KZMU Moab, March Studio (LA), MASS Design Group (Santa Fe), The National Endowment for the Arts, PACT (Green River), River Rock Inn, River Terrace Inn, Rural Utah Project, Sleepy Hollow Motel, and the Tulane School of Architecture.



Epicenter stewards creative initiatives that honor the past, strengthen the present, and build the future that they envision with their community of Green River, Utah. Epicenter is a vibrant hub for rural investment and cultural exploration of the rural West through their Frontier Fellowship residency program, events like the Summit, and other work in architecture and design. This is the third Summit that Epicenter has hosted and the first welcoming Granary Arts as a co-host. 


Granary Arts is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the contemporary arts through exhibitions, education, and cultural programming, and serve as an anchor for artistic activity and community. We support and exhibit regional and international artists; provide educational opportunities through programming, outreach, and cultural events; and foster collaborative relationships with individuals, organizations, and communities.