About Me

Jonathan T. Bailey is a photographer and conservationist who specializes in rock art. His work has contributed to the preservation of areas like the Bears Ears National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Uintah Basin, and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Since 2013, he has partnered with the Utah Rock Art Research Association to record and protect Emery County’s fragile archaeological resources. He is most recently the author of When I Was Red Clay (Torrey House Press - August 2022), The Greater San Rafael Swell (University of Arizona Press - Spring 2022), and Rock Art: A Vision of a Vanishing Cultural Landscape (November 2019). His work has appeared in numerous places such as Landscape Photography Magazine, NBC News, Arizona Highways, and High Country News. Originally from Emery County, Utah, he now lives in Tucson, Arizona, with his partner, Aaron.

Photo courtesy Matt Jarvis. @wanderlight_photography

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Features and Clients

  • The Grand Canyon Trust
  • Archaeology Southwest
  • NBC News
  • Utah Progressives
  • UPR / Utah Public Radio
  • Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
  • The Advocate Magazine
  • The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition
  • Utah Diné Bikéyah
  • Good 4 Utah
  • The National Park Service
  • Friends of Cedar Mesa
  • The Utah Rock Art Research Association
  • The Salt Lake Tribune
  • Center for Western Priorities
  • Deseret News
  • Sierra Magazine
  • Indian County Media Network
  • UTopia TV
  • Salt Lake Magazine
  • Landscape Photography Magazine
  • High Country News
  • The President’s Office of the Navajo Nation
  • The Native American Rights Fund
  • Utah State Archaeological Society
  • KSL TV
  • Native News Online
  • The Cortez Journal
  • The Durango Herald
  • Patagonia
  • Native America Calling
  • Fox 13 News
  • and others
  • Testimonies

    “[Jonathan] brings an ancient people to life through their stone-etched images, many of which are threatened by development and vandalism. The passion behind [his] photographs is apparent — and hard-won.” Paige Blankenbuehler, High Country News (commenting on Rock Art: A Vision of A Vanishing Cultural Landscape)

    “Bailey’s photographs say it all! From the mysteries of life lived naturally, amid dramatic, high-colored tapestries to the idiots who deface, collect, and otherwise mar the artwork. Not many understand the “tingle” of mystery the way he does, nor the vibrations that surround it. ” Katie Lee, author of "Glen Canyon Betrayed" and "Sandstone Seduction"

    “Jonathan is not only preserving images for history, but his keen eye is also making art that will last for generations” — James Dabakis, Utah State Senator 

    "Jonathan Bailey gives us images that ache with ineffable beauty and mystery, but also give rise to heartache as he shows that our sacred heritage is in real danger of becoming nothing more than a handful of dust.” — Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune

    “We share with Jonathan a mission to foster meaningful connections to the past and respectfully safeguard its irreplaceable resources. As such, we are fortunate to draw from his archive of his stunning and evocative photographs, which convey the magnitude of people’s lives in the canyons and plateaus of the Southwest since time immemorial.” — Kate Sarther, Archaeology Southwest

    “[Bailey’s photos are] a journey through some of the cultural landscapes of the people who lived here before. They show what is happening to our heritage and how it is threatened by possible future development.” Richard Jenkinson, Utah Rock Art Research Association


    2022 - When I Was Red Clay: A Journey of Identity, Healing, and Wonder

    This intimate record lays bare one person’s experience growing up in a rural Mormon community and struggling to reconcile his sexuality with the religious doctrine of his childhood. Finding solace and connection in wild places, Jonathan T. Bailey lived two lives—one of trauma, the other of wonder. In When I Was Red Clay, he navigates self–discovery, grief, and the loss of faith with unflinching honesty and biting humor.

    Published by Torrey House Press. Purchase here.

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    2022  - The Greater San Rafael Swell: Honoring Tradition and Preserving Storied Lands

    Authors Stephen Strom and Jonathan Bailey paint a multi-faceted picture of a singular place through photographs, along with descriptions of geology, paleontology, archaeology, history, and dozens of interviews with individuals who devoted more than two decades to develop a shared vision of the future of both the Swell and the County. At its core, the book relates the important story of how a coalition of ranchers, miners, off-road enthusiasts, conservationists, recreationists, and Native American tribal nations worked together for nearly 25 years to forge and pass the Emery County Public Lands Management Act in 2019.

    Published by University of Arizona Press. Purchase here. 

    2019 - Rock Art: A Vision of a Vanishing Cultural Landscape - Revised and Updated

    Introduction by RE Burrillo. Essays by Alisha Anderson, Lawrence Baca, Lyle Balenquah, Greg Child, Kelley Hays-Gilpin, Andrew Gulliford, James Keyser, William Lipe, Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, Lawrence Loendorf, Connie Massingale, Lorran & Charlotte Meares, Aaron O’Brien, Geri Schrab, Scott Thybony, Paul Tosa, and Laurie Webster.Published by Bower House Books.

    Publicshed by Bower House. Purchase here. 

    2016 - Rock Art: A Vision of a Vanishing Cultural Landscape

    First edition conservation anthology featuring essays and photographs. Significantly updated in 2019 edition. 

    Published by Johnson Books, Boulder, CO  / Original edition no longer available.

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