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Frontier Fellowship: Jennifer Joy Jameson & Chris Merchant
July 28 - August 25
Originally from Southern California, Jenn Joy Jameson spent a decade outside the state working as a public folklorist, collaborating with communities and cultural practitioners in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. She later moved back west to work for the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, where she manages cultural arts programs, grants, and media. Jenn often finds herself at two poles—one
has her leaning more into the creative practices of a fieldworker, writer, and curator, and the other has her leaning deeper into activism and cultural organizing. Her best contributions find the balance between.
Chris Merchant studied filmmaking at the University of Texas in Austin and currently works as a creative researcher in the film industry, while simultaneously pursuing his photographic practice. His photography draws on his fascinations for American regionality, artist-built environments and hobbyist subcultures. He has spent time documenting the worlds of mycology, rockhounding, and the natural landscapes of the American west.
Together, they plan to combine these backgrounds (ethnographic methods, photography, archival research, writing, and curation) in the projects that they produce. They look forward to seeing how this work will develop, and to what they can learn from the citizens of Green River and Epicenter.
What about Green River & the Frontier Fellowship excites you most?
As partners, we’ve enjoy exploring themes of vernacular art, cultural landscapes, rituals, belief systems, archives and personal collections. As well as racial and cultural equity, how to build and keep community, ecosystems and environmental sustainability, and how we can and should relate to these things now and into the future. We see the Frontier Fellowship as an opportunity to engage closer with these dynamics: between the two of us, with Epicenter, and the larger community of Green River, Utah.