18-From the Mad River to the Little Salmon River

From the Mad River to the Little Salmon River, or The Responsibility of Raising a Child, 2004–05. Rick Bartow (Wiyot), b. 1946. Bronze, ed. 1/10. Gift of Charles Froelick, the artist, and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, 2006 (26/5716).

Inspired by his work mentoring troubled youth in an Oregon detention facility, Bartow portrays a baby—his own daughter, Lily—peeking out of a Plateau basket which is situated precariously on the back of the trickster Coyote. The grandmother depicted on Coyote’s backside acts as a balancing force. Teeming with human faces and animals native to the Oregon coast, the sculpture speaks to the essential roles of family and community in the rearing of children.

Northwest imagery, Japanese prints, and Maori and African art inspire the drawings, paintings, sculpture, and prints of Rick Bartow (Wiyot, b. 1946). Oral traditions, especially Native American transformation stories, are also at the heart of much of his work, as are themes of loss, addiction, and personal transformation.

Some of Bartow’s honors include a traveling show organized by the Hallie Ford Museum (2002–04); a Continuum: 12 Artists solo exhibit at NMAI (2003); the Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art (2001); and an installation in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden at the White House. He holds a BA from Western Oregon State University.


Drawing Workshop with Rick Bartow
Sunday, April 17, 2011

Artist Rick Bartow (Wiyot) led a hands-on drawing workshop for teens and preteens.

Vantage Point: The Contemporary Native Art Collection

The National Museum of the American Indian
NMAI on the National Mall | Washington, DC