Rick Bartow, 1946 - 2016. A wide range of cultural experiences inspired Rick Bartow's drawings, paintings, sculpture, and prints. Native American transformation myths are the heart of much of his work. Bartow lived and worked on the Oregon coast, where he observed hawk, raven and eagle—the subjects that populate his artwork. Rick was a member of the Wiyot tribe from Northwestern California.
In 1969, Rick Bartow earned a Bachelors of Arts in Art Education from Western Oregon State University. Soon after, Bartow served in the Vietnam War for thirteen months, 1970-1971. He returned to art making several years after his military service ended. In the interim, Bartow worked in many fields including fishing, bartending, building maintenance, and teaching. He was an active blues guitarist.
Bartow's work as a professional artist included solo exhibitions at museums, universities, and galleries around the globe and the USA. In 2003 he inaugurated the Continuum 12 series at the National Museum of the American Indian in Manhattan. In 2002 the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University organized the traveling exhibit My Eye, (color catalog), it traveled to the University of Notre Dame and the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, WA. In 2012, his large scale sculptural commission "We Were Always Here" was installed on the National Mall at the Northwest corner of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian In Washington, D.C., where it continues to be on view. In 2015, his 35-year retrospective, "Things You Know but Cannot Explain" opened at the University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art; this show will continue to travel to venues around the Western states in to 2019. Some of his prominent group exhibitions include Twentieth Century American Sculpture at The White House, Washington, D.C., organized by the Heard Museum; Indian Reality Today, at Westfaliches Landesmuseum fur Naturkunde, Munster, Germany; Head, Heart and Hands, organized by the Kentucky Art and Craft Gallery in Louisville, KY and traveling to the American Craft Museum, New York, NY; Indian Time at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe, NM; and The Museum of Art & Design’s Changing Hands 2: Art Without Reservation, New York, NY
Rick Bartow's work is included in the German collection of Contemporary Native American art:
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