‘Sacred Images’ showcases ancient rock art

The photo exhibit, “Sacred Images: A Vision of Native American Rock Art,” will fill the Special Exhibit Gallery at the BLM Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, Colo., from April 1 through Oct. 30.

The exhibit features Utah rock art in vintage chromogenic prints by photographers Craig Law, Tom Till, and John Telford. Their work acquaints the visitor with four major styles—Barrier Canyon, Hisatsinom, Fremont, and Ute—as well as the perceptions, sensibilities, and cultures of early people who hunted and farmed the Great Basin and adjacent areas.


This photo of a Fremont petroglyph is among those that will be on exhibit at the Anasazi-Heritage Center through Oct 30. Photo by John Telford/Center for Documentary Arts

Rock art can be found along cliff faces, inside overhangs, and on boulders. Whether pecked or painted on stone, the images represent an artistic tradition reaching back at least 8,000 years. They convey a wealth of information ranging from simple details to complex narratives.

Occasionally the photographers recorded sites located close to paved roads. But reaching other sites required multi-day wilderness hikes with llamas to carry the heavy photographic equipment. Their reward was a wealth of fascinating subjects, including some of the finest rock art found anywhere in the world. The exhibit was organized by the Center for Documentary Arts of Salt Lake City, with comments by curator David Sucec. His texts describe the aesthetic and cultural content of each image, and connect each style with evidence found and interpreted by local archaeologists.

Sucec, who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from San Francisco State, has devoted years to researching Southwestern rock art. He has been a faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a member of the Salt Lake Art Center faculty.

Sucec will speak at the museum on June 26 at 1 p.m. in connection with the Four Corners Lecture Series.

The Anasazi Heritage Center, three miles west of Dolores on State Highway 184, features permanent exhibits on regional archaeology, history, and Native culture. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the end of October.

For more information, contact the center at 970- 882-5600, or visit the web site at www.co.blm.gov/ahc.

From April 2011, Arts & Entertainment. Read similar stories about , , , , , .