Archaeologist discusses Nevada rock art in Carson City |

Archaeologist discusses Nevada rock art in Carson City

Capital City Arts Initiative
Pat Barker.

Wednesday, the Capital City Arts Initiative will present a public talk, “Nevada’s Ancient Rock Art: Art for All Times,” by archaeologist Pat Barker. The event is part of CCAI’s ongoing Nevada Neighbors speakers’ series and will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Brick, 108 E. Proctor St. There will be an informal reception for Northrup preceding the event at 5 p.m. Tickets are not needed; the public is cordially invited.

Barker will discuss how during at least the past 10,000 years, people throughout Nevada have been creating art on rock surfaces, boulders and cave walls. These images held great significance for those who made them and stand today as the most striking visual testament to a heritage especially valued by Native Americans and by Nevadans. The ancient people of Nevada left no written records and we rely on contemporary oral traditions, as well as, clues to their lives that are found in the remains of their villages, monuments, and artifacts. Rock art is a clue that can give us a unique understanding of the world view and culture of those who created it. Nevada’s rock art is internationally significant and deserves to be documented and protected.

Beginning in 1988, Barker was the lead archaeologist for the BLM Nevada State Office until his retirement in 2006. His archaeological research experience includes work in Southern California, the Mojave Desert and the Great Basin with ethnographic experience in Samoa. Barker’s longterm archaeological interests in the Great Basin include prehistoric land management, fire and human ecology, political evolution, prehistoric sandals and other textiles and prehistoric rock art. He is a research associate in anthropology at the Nevada State Museum and the University of California, Davis. Barker is a past president of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Rock Art Foundation and of the Board of Directors of the Great Basin Anthropology Association. He earned a doctorate in anthropology in 1982 from the University of California, Riverside.

As part of his Nevada Neighbors activities, Barker also will speak about Nevada’s rock art to students and faculty at one of CCAI’s partner high schools and at Sierra Nevada College.

The Capital City Arts Initiative is an artist-centered organization committed to the encouragement and support of artists and the arts and culture of Carson City and the surrounding region. The Initiative is committed to community planning and building for the area through art projects and exhibitions, live events, arts education programs, artist residencies and online projects.

The Capital City Arts Initiative is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, John and Grace Nauman Foundation, Carson City Cultural Commission, Nevada Arts Council, Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, NV Energy Foundation, Southwest Gas Corporation Foundation, U.S. Bank Foundation, MarBil Group and its members.

For information, visit CCAI’s website at