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Archaeology Southwest Presents Special Book Release Discussion


Nov 19 2019 - 5:30pm

Special Book Release Discussion Featuring Unpublished Looks at Molen Reef Rock Art with Jonathan Bailey

Join author and photographer Jonathan Bailey for an exploration and discussion of Utah’s Molen Reef, following the release of his latest book, Rock Art: A Vision of a Vanishing Cultural Landscape. Through stunning photography and thoughtful research, Jonathan helps highlight ancient and delicate traces from lives lived long ago, as expressed through rock art carvings in some of the Southwest’s most culturally rich—and continually threatened—landscapes.

Alongside and in addition to his work on Rock Art: A Vision of a Vanishing Cultural Landscape, Jonathan has been focusing concentrated effort over the past seven years to document, understand, and protect the rock art of the Molen Reef. Although largely unknown and relatively unexplored, the Molen Reef is nevertheless an impressive rock art landscape that helps convey centuries of human history. And, like surrounding regions, it is a landscape that also faces threats from oil and gas development.

Jonathan’s talk will highlight preservation successes and challenges at Molen Reef. He will also debut many unpublished photographs from this stunning and meaningful place. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get a first look at a little-known landscape of deep cultural significance.

Rock Art: A Vision of a Vanishing Cultural Landscape will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Note: Because this talk will be featuring unpublished work, photography will be prohibited during the event. Please refrain from taking pictures out of respect for our speaker.


Jonathan Bailey is a conservation photographer with a background in cultural resources. As a former member of the Utah Rock Art Research Association’s preservation committee—working primarily on the Molen Reef, San Rafael Swell, Nine Mile Canyon, and Robber’s Roost— and a collaborating party for the defense and proposal of the Bears Ears and Escalante / Grand Staircase National Monuments, Jonathan has had the pleasure of being a voice for sacred places. He has also directed and overseen various conservation projects seeking protections for thousands of tribal heritage sites, numerous federally-listed endangered species, millions of acres of wilderness, and beloved creatures great and small throughout the American Southwest. He is thankful for the opportunities this has given him to listen to stories and new ways of thinking. Working with elders, tribal leaders, politicians ranging from rural commissioners to members of Congress, conservation groups, energy executives, archaeological organizations, ranchers, and individuals from all walks of life, Jonathan has worked with the understanding that listening and collaboration is key to assure the health and integrity of culture, wilderness, and the climate. Born and raised in Emery County, Utah, Jonathan currently lives in Tucson, Arizona.

His work can be found at


Memories are the invisible threads connecting us with our past. From the moment a child is born to the reflections of deep history carved on canyon walls, memories describe the aspects of our lives that otherwise defy explanation–an intangible whisper of awareness written on the lips of time. The history of the American Southwest is vividly painted and pecked with memories, with stories, and with narratives of people and place, odysseys carved into tortuous landscapes of heartbreaking beauty and heat-pressed geometry. This history, in the form of rock art, allows us to see, feel, and experience these threads of memory, binding us ever closer to the past and our place in this landscape.

Rock Art: A Vision of a Vanishing Cultural Landscape is due to be released on November 15, 2019. Its many contributors include Alisha Anderson, Lawrence Baca, Lyle Balenquah, R. E. Burrillo, Greg Child, Andrew Gulliford, Kelley Hays-Gilpin, James Keyser, William Lipe, Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, Lawrence Loendorf, Connie Massingale, Charlotte Meares, Lorran Meares, Aaron O’Brien, Geri Schrab, Scott Thybony, Paul Tosa, and Laurie Webster.

Learn more here:


We gather at The Loft Cinema (3233 E. Speedway Blvd.) around 5:30 p.m. to visit and enjoy food and beverages. This program will begin at 6 p.m. in Theatre 1. Seating is open and unreserved. The Loft has plenty of free parking!


Free! Guests are encouraged to purchase their own refreshments from The Loft’s impressive concession bar. Offerings include tamales, pizza, wraps, sandwiches, snacks, and a great selection of local beers and wines.

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