Rick Bartow


Rick Bartow (Wiyot) is one of Oregon’s most important contemporary artists, and has an ever-expanding national and international audience. Bartow was born on the Oregon coast, and spent the majority of his life in his hometown of Newport, Oregon. Bartow’s great-grandfather left his Wiyot tribal homeland in northern California nearly 100 years ago to homestead in Oregon where the Bartow family has lived ever since. In the early 1970s Bartow served in the Vietnam War. He picked up the guitar as a teenager and both music and the visual arts served as powerful creative outlets throughout his lifetime. Bartow passed away on April 2, 2016; he was 69 years old.

Central to Bartow’s work is the theme of transformation, particularly between the human and animal realms, often juxtaposing corporeal and spiritual dimensions of existence. Among numerous awards, Bartow received an Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art in 2001, and a Flintridge Foundation Award in 2002. His work is held in major public and private collections nationally and internationally. A pair of his monumental sculptures grace the National Mall, commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC in 2012.