When Rick Bartow passed away at his Newport, Oregon home on April 2, 2016, the world lost a true cornerstone of Contemporary Northwest and Native art. The roughly 30-month period preceding his death was by all accounts the most productive of his artistic life. Precipitated by declining health which left him with speech impaired by a stroke, a pacemaker to counteract the effects of congestive heart failure, and an awareness that he could “see the end of the road”, he got to work. Laying down on his canvases and panels a life's worth of imagery- of deeply personal and learned stories, his study of art and of indigenous and world cultures, Bartow produced an astonishingly dynamic, fierce, emotive, confident final chapter in his artist's story- solidifying beyond question his already estimable reputation. In these pictures he gave us wise or foolish or harrowed storytellers; dancers engaged in the healing practice of the Wiyot brush dance; birds, dogs, horses and transformative figures in the process of becoming.
A full color catalog for the Sparrow Song exhibition is available for purchase at the gallery - $20.