Cuesta College’s Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery is set to host Vanished: A Chronicle of Discovery and Loss Across Half a Million Years, an exhibit showcasing the investigation of four vanished icons that persist as powerful ideas in today’s society. Running January 19-February 16, 2017, the gallery will hold an opening reception on January 19 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., with an artist panel at 5:30 p.m.

Vanished: A Chronicle of Discovery and Loss Across Half a Million Years is a transdisciplinary project involving two visual artists, a philosopher, creative writer, volcanologist, and graphic designer. Collectively, the six artists explore four lost icons and consider how society assembles the past through fact, fiction, and myth. The results are an interconnected collection of new and historic photographs, illustrations, sculpture, sound, and writing.


The four vanished icons are:

The Missing Mount Tehama: A Vanished Stratovolcano (600,000 B.C.)

Mount Tehama is an eroded andesitic stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the Cascade Range in Northern California. A combination of continued hydrothermal activity and erosion removed the central cone of the volcano, leaving a large caldera which can be seen today.


A Return to Deer Creek for Ishi, “the last of the Yahi” (1911 - 1914)

Ishi (1861 –1916) was the last member of the Yahi, a group of the Yana of California. Widely acclaimed in his time as the "last wild Indian" in America, Ishi lived most of his life completely outside modern culture. At 50 years of age, in 1911, he emerged near the present-day foothills of Lassen Peak, CA.


Sudden Void: The Fall of the Hooker Oak (1000 - 1977)

The Hooker Oak was a nearly 1,000-year-old large valley oak tree in Chico, CA, that fell in 1977. The tree was nearly 100 feet tall and the circumference of outside branches was nearly 500 feet. 


A Columbian Mammoth in Bidwell Park: Lost, Found, Then Lost Again (10,000 B.C. - 2001)

In 2001, a Columbian Mammoth tooth was found in Bidwell Park in Chico, CA, but later lost during a cleaning. 


About the six artists:

Heather Altfeld, creative writer. Altfeld is the author of The Disappearing Theater, a book of poems, and co-author of One Thousand and One Books: A Guide to Children’s Literature. Her work has been published in literary magazines such as ZYZZYVA, Pleiades, and The New Guard. She teaches in the English Department at California State University, Chico, and at Butte Community College.


Oliver Hutton, graphic designer / photographer. Hutton’s work focuses on the design disciplines of packaging and branding with additional expertise in web, environmental, and publication design. His award-winning designs have been featured in Communication Arts, GDUSA, Applied Arts, and other industry publications. He worked for five years at Hornall Anderson: Brand Experience Design Agency in Seattle, WA, before launching a freelance career in his hometown of Chico, CA.


Troy Jollimore, philosopher. Jollimore is a professor of philosophy at California State University, Chico. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and the author of two philosophical books: Love's Vision (Princeton University Press, 2011) and Friendship and Agent-Relative Morality (Garland, 2001). His poetry has appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. His first book of poetry, Tom Thomson in Purgatory, won the National Book Critics Circle award for poetry in 2006.


Sheri Simons, sculptor. Simons is a professor of sculpture in the Department of Art and Art History at California State University, Chico. Simons works with wood, sound, and movement. She recently completed artist residencies at Youkobo (Tokyo), and Zemtrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (Berlin) where she developed map-related work in drawing and sculpture.


Dr. Rachel Teasdale, volcanologist. Dr. Teasdale is a Lantis’ University Professor at California State University, Chico, where she teaches geology. Her current research examines lava flow emplacement mechanisms in a variety of settings, the development of the Tuscan Formation, and monitoring the hydrothermal systems at the Lassen Volcanic Center and volcanoes in Costa Rica.


Byron Wolfe, photographer / project director. Wolfe is a professor and program director for photography at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Wolfe’s work has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally and is included in over 20 museum collections worldwide. He is a recipient of the Santa Fe Prize for Photography and the author of Everyday: A Yearlong Photo Diary (Chronicle Books, 2007). Wolfe is a Guggenheim Fellow and a former Lantis’ University Professor at California State University, Chico.


The Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery is located in room 7170, on the San Luis Obispo campus of Cuesta College. It is open Monday-Friday, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and the 1st and 3rd Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, please call (805) 546-3202.