Chris Lezama & Richard Saxton during a tour of Green River & surroundings
Today Richard Saxton, Frontier Fellow, arrives to Green River, Utah for a three week fellowship. Saxton is a visual artist and educator currently living in Denver, Colorado. Saxton’s work is conceived through an interdisciplinary cultural framework, and can be contextualized through social and site-based art practice. Saxton’s work has been described as contemporary vernacular, non-heroic, and an art infused with rural experience without subscribing to any one genre or culture. Saxton is the founder and Creative Director of the M12 Collective, an interdisciplinary art focused non-profit that develops their ideas through dialogical and collaborative approaches. M12 creates and supports new modes of art-making in often rural and remote areas. In addition to being the Creative Director of M12, Saxton is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder in the Department of Art and Art History, writes books & articles, and lectures worldwide.
During his fellowship, Saxton will be focusing on his ongoing project, The Majestics. The Majestics grew out of a particular grouping of images from my Rural Research Archive that focused on structures near National Parks in the Rocky Mountain West (Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah). Through interpreting and documenting these structures, communities and landscapes, this series seemed to focus on how the National Park System and Wildlife Area aesthetic has influenced the rural built and social landscape. This series looks at the built landscape of small rural communities, and explores themes such as environment and its effects on human habitat, rural ingenuity, and chance building. Saxton invented the term “reverb design” as an attempt to define this particular aesthetic. The idea here is to explore a rural vernacular language that has moved beyond its intended borders (in this case exploring how aesthetics applied by the NPS has inspired local structures in the fringe communities that surround park borders). The photographs, drawings, and on-site installations in and around Green River also explore notions of mobility, adaptability, and utopia, while at the same time project feelings of isolation, loss, loneliness, and tranquility. The Majestics exhibition at Epicenter explores landscape, the built environment, history, and regional identity. The work attempts to question the many forces at play and the reality their accumulated presence creates: human habitation and structures among remote geography, the function of the built landscape, the romantic West, utopian ideas of coexisting and preserving nature, and harsh realities of social-economic conditions in the rural west in the 21st century.
With Saxton comes three recent graduates from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Art Department: Erica Dixon, Ashley Ross, and Adam Seifkas. These three interns (AKA Arterns) will be assisting their former professor (Saxton) on The Majestics, as well as working with Epicenter, the Green River Community Center, and the Green River Archives.
Welcome Richard, Erica, Ashley, and Adam! We’re honored to have you in Green River!!!blog comments powered by Disqus