The Frontier Fellowship provides creative practitioners the opportunity to live and work with Epicenter in Green River, Utah (pop. 952). Fellows generate new work that is informed by the town’s history, the surrounding desert landscape, and the local residents. While in residence, Fellows execute community-based projects that align with Epicenter’s mission and long term goals.
Epicenter, a non-profit organization, facilitates Fellowships throughout the year. Located in a historic building in downtown Green River, Epicenter houses an office space, a basement workroom, and a workshop stocked with tools. Fellows are given access to these spaces as well as Epicenter’s vast network of partners, an extensive array of tools and materials, and workspace within the office and workshops. Off-site housing is provided and requires a $250 fee. Travel, living, and materials stipends are available on a limited basis and details are provided after acceptance.
Green River, UTah
Green River, Utah, lies on the Paradox Basin, an ancient geological formation that has created the region’s awe-inspiring canyons as well as their ripeness for excavation. Founded in 1876 as a ferry crossing, the town straddles the river with the Book Cliffs to the north, the San Rafael Swell to the west, and endless canyons to the south. Green River is the only town of consequence for 50-100 miles in all directions and only place to cross the Green River for hundreds of miles. It has been a welcomed sight to pioneers, cattlemen, and modern travelers alike, and today it is home to working-class residents who embrace the town’s natural beauty and geographic isolation as a way of life. Green River is known for its melons, a cold water geyser, river history, and for being a true crossroads of the American West. Both the Old Spanish Trail and the Outlaw Trail once came through here, and these days Green River is served by the river itself, an Interstate highway, and national rail and bus routes.
The word frontier, especially in the context of the American west, often refers to the terms of violent Westward Expansion. The Frontier Fellowship seeks to recognize this and to engage with it, while at the same time complicating the facile sense of place which would reduce the idea of “Western” to just stories of “cowboys and Indians.” The frontier is also a border, a line, and so our concept of the frontier walks both these paths. The Frontier Fellowship is the exploration of the new field of study of socially-engaged contextual practice, and it plays at the borders and “the confluences of art and design, creativity and community service, and pragmatism and experimentation.” Our town is remote, but it is no longer an outpost from which to claim and to enclose. Instead, it is a node in a network -- of transportation, culture, experimental practice, industry, environment, and history. We seek to honor this place and its position within those networks, and Epicenter’s Frontier Fellows are an integral part of this process and our ongoing partnership with the community of Green River, Utah.
Thanks to Charlie Macquarie for editing this Frontier text for Epicenter. Quote taken from Nicole Lavelle’s essay in our A Call to Place: The First Five Years of the Frontier Fellowship book.