They Painted in the Canyons: Archaic Artists on the Colorado Plateau  

(June 12, 2019)

Of the thousands of Native American rock art panels in the Southwest, none are older than Barrier Canyon pictographs found throughout the Colorado Plateau and concentrated along rivers, especially the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers.

From tiny five-inch animal figures to stunning eight-foot tall human shapes with no arms or legs and alien-like bug eyes, Barrier Canyon Style images are usually a dark blood red color. They may have been painted 9,000 years ago; many panels are at least 5,000 years old.

Visual artist David Sucec, director of the Barrier Canyon Style Project, and photographer Craig Law teamed up over 25 years ago to begin to inventory this rare Archaic rock art style, which represents some of the oldest outdoor paintings in North America.

The National Endowment for the Humanities, through the Traveling Exhibition Program (TEP) of the Utah Division of Arts & Museums and the Utah Arts Council has funded a small traveling exhibit of 24 photographs plus captions and wall text.

The exhibit will travel for several years across Utah. Now folks who may never venture deep into Colorado Plateau canyons like Sucec and Law do in fall and spring can see these remarkable images.


San Juan Record…