Ancient cave paintings of Baja: Friends of Sierra Rock Art sponsor a special presentation | TheUnion.com

Ancient cave paintings of Baja: Friends of Sierra Rock Art sponsor a special presentation

Submitted to Prospector

On Friday, artist Ellen Van Fleet will give a digital slide presentation focusing on the cave paintings in Baja, Mexico.

The free public event, which is sponsored by Friends of Sierra Rock Art, takes place at Nevada City's Madelyn Helling Library at 7 p.m.

In some cases the Baja pictographs (painted images) are thousands of years old.

Van Fleet says, "The paintings are high on undercut cliff walls and they are large and imposing images of people, deer, sea creatures and other members of this ancient culture's system of beliefs. They cover large areas in some caves. One collection of images is larger than the mural at the Sistine Chapel. It's 60 feet high and about three-hundred-and-fifty feet long."

Van Fleet has been an artist for 50 years and has taught art at the University of California, San Diego and California State University.

Starting in the late 1980s, she made several trips to Baja to study the unique rock art. She teamed up with other researchers and they hired local guides to take them into remote canyons in order to access the caves.

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The art that she created from her trips has been displayed nationally and many of her pieces are in private collections.

Her Baja excursions had a big impact on her.

She explains, "Everything I love was wrapped up in these journeys I made. The people, the stark landscape, the travel by mule or on foot, and the ability to stay at sights and respond to the paintings."

Some of Van Fleet's art that resulted from her travels in Baja can be viewed at her private studio in Grass Valley by appointment at 530-802-5476.

On Nov. 9, Bill Drake, co-founder of Friends of Sierra Rock art, will give a different slide presentation at the Helling Library that will focus on his travels through Baja and include photographs of several rock art sites as well as artifacts in museums.

For more information on the presentations, contact Bill Drake at 530-265-2084.

Source: Friends of Sierra Rock Art.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: Ellen Van Fleet’s pictures of cave paintings from Baja, Mexico

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Madelyn Helling Library, 980 Helling Way, Nevada City

TICKETS: Free

INFO: For more information on the presentations, contact Bill Drake at 530-265-2084

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