CEU Prehistoric Museum Slates Exhibit Featuring Echo Of Ancestral Footprints Art
The College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum's "Ancient Paths: The Echo of Ancestral Footsteps" art exhibit will remain on display through December.
The exhibit features the collective works of Arlene Meade Connolly and Iris Howe in the art gallery located on the second floor of the museum.
Connolly is a professional artist and English teacher residing in Wellington.
A passion for petroglyphs and pictographs led her down a path that has become almost an obsession.
It all started when a college course in speech opened the doors to art as expression.
Instead of writing a paper describing her life, ambitions, hopes and dreams, the professor allowed Connolly to paint her thoughts.
"That was my first real opportunity to use symbolism to express myself. I got an A and continued to use painting as a form of communication," said Connolly.
While teaching at an alternative high school in Heber City, she encouraged students to expand their communication skills through art and noticed how symbolism played a part.
After a trip to Colorado, the local artist indicated that she was inspired by the cliff dwellings and the ancient messages left behind at Mesa Verde.
"That did it for me. I realized how precious these messages are. The expression people use about how something is not written in stone takes on a whole new meaning. Here is something that was written in stone. It must be important," said Connolly.
The local artist's language background and love of reading were expanded to include legends and myths of ancient cultures.
The native mythologies, ceremonies and legends go hand in hand with the petroglyphs and pictographs, noted Connolly.
About 15 years ago while camping in Sego Canyon, a group of teenage boys raced up the road, randomly shooting the rocks at 6:30 a.m., explained Connolly.
Asked to stop because of the recently restored pictographs, the teens claimed they were unaware.
At that point, educating the public about the Native American wonders left behind became Connolly's top priority.
Originally started as a way to preserve the rock art images without bullet holes or graffiti, Connolly expanded her vision to include similarities from around the world.