The Cliff Dwellers of Cedar Mesa: Photographs by Donald J. Rommes at San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
The Central Coast Photographic Society presents the work of guest photographer, Donald J. Rommes, in an exhibition entitled The Cliff Dwellers of Cedar Mesa. This collection of photographs from the prehistoric cliff dwellings in southern Utah will be on view in the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art’s McMeen Gallery from August 2 to September 1, 2013.
Eight hundred years ago, prehistoric Native Americans emigrated from their homes in Cedar Mesa to find a safer and more productive environment further to the south and east. These people, formerly called the Anasazi, left behind evidence of their thirteenth-century lives in the form of structures, art, pottery, sandals, blankets, jewelry, and other artifacts.
These remnants of a pre-Columbus American civilization remained unmolested for centuries. Early archaeologists hauled off large quantities of artifacts in the late 1800s, but significant visitation to this remote area and the subsequent degradation of its structures didn’t occur until recently.
This exhibition is part of a larger project on the American cultural treasures of Cedar Mesa that was motivated by a desire to help preserve what is left. The work has culminated in a book, Cliff Dwellers of Cedar Mesa.
Donald J. Rommes has a long-standing interest in photography, especially of the American West. His first book, Canyon Reflections, is about the Escalante Canyons of southern Utah, photographs from which were shown at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. He is a neonatologist by profession and maintains a full-time practice in the care of critically ill newborn babies in Santa Maria, California. Dr. Rommes continues to divide his time between neonatology and photography and is working on a project that will combine the two.
Details // On Friday, August 2, at 5pm, there will be a lecture and slide show presented by Donald Rommes in the Nybak Wing. Free admission to Museum members; $5 for nonmembers. A reception with the artist will take place following the lecture from 6��"9pm in conjunction with Art After Dark.
The Central Coast Photographic Society is one of five artist groups affiliated with the Museum of Art. Monthly program meetings are held January through November on the second Tuesday of the month from 7 to 9 p. m. Visitors are welcome.