Saturday, October 22, 2016


Rick Bartow
MoCNA/SKYPE with the Curators
Thursday, November 10, 2016 | 12 - 1:30p.m.
MoCNA 2nd Floor Project Lab
108 Cathedral Place Santa Fe NM 87501

Join IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Chief Curator Manuela Well-Off-Man and Danielle Knapp, McCosh Associate Curator, Jordan Schnitzer Museum as they discuss the impact of recently passed artist Rick Bartow (Wiyot tribe of Northern California) on contemporary Native art, and the exhibition Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain, A Retrospective Exhibition currently on display at MoCNA. Rick Bartow passed away on April 2, 2016, from congestive heart failure.This discussion will happen via Skype, a video phone call when projected onto a large screen allows for dynamic virtual dialogue.

For more information contact: 
Andrea R. Hanley, Membership + Program Manager 505.428.5907 or email: 
IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, 108 Cathedral Place, Santa 
Fe, NM 87501

In the interval between the two sleeps of my nights, the gap between 3 AM and 5AM which is dawn in summer, I was looking at the images by Rick Bartow so I could compose a post here.  At first I didn’t think I knew his work, but after looking at Google Images a while I realized that several were familiar.  They make good book covers because they are often a figure, a persona, that is intense and bright.  They conflate person, raven, bear, hawk and salmon into dream figures, metaphors, self-contained stories.  Feathers and fingers sign-talk while coyote goes passing by, stops to look back.

Richard Elmer "RickBartow (December 1946 – April 2, 2016) was a Native American artist and a member of the Mad River Band of Wiyot Indians, a small tribe indigenous to Humboldt CountyCalifornia. He primarily created pastelgraphite, and mixed media drawings, wood sculpture, acrylic paintings, drypoint etchings, monotypes, and a small number of ceramic works.  

After a number of small shows in the Newport area, Rick Bartow was offered a solo exhibition in 1985 by Portland, Oregon gallerist William Jamison of Jamison/Thomas Gallery, who operated galleries in Portland and New York City. Bartow exhibited frequently at both locations and elsewhere, and his work began to garner national attention. Following Jamison's death in 1995 and his galleries' subsequent closures, Bartow signed on with Charles Froelick of Froelick Gallery in Portland, and a fruitful twenty-year professional relationship and friendship followed. Froelick continues to represent Bartow's estate.

The Responsibility of Raising a Child was designed by Rick Bartow in 2004, cast in 2009, and completed in 2010 before being installed at the intersection of Southwest 5th Avenue and Taylor Street in the Portland Transit Mall. Cascade Fine Arts Foundry, based in Damascus, Oregon, served as the sculpture's foundry. The sculpture depicts several animals and objects being carried on the back of a coyote ("the trickster"), including a grandmother mask with a tattoo that Bartow's mother observed on the face of an elder healing woman in Siletz, Oregon, a pair of salmon, a Pacific lamprey eel feeds, a basket holding a baby (Bartow's daughter), and several birds, including a killdeer, an eagle with outstretched wings, and a raven. A moon mask on the eagle's tail symbolizes women, and a sun mark on its wing represents men.

No comments: