Rick Elmer Bartow was born in December 1946 and died on April 2, 2016.
He was a Native American artist of Wiyot and Yurok (Native American groups indigenous to Humboldt County, California) heritage.
Rick created works in sculpture, print, etching, monotype, ceramics, mixed media and painting.
His work can be found in several museum collections including the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts; Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, Indiana; the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC; the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, Oregon; the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona; the de Saisset Museum and the Portland Art Museum.
During 2003, his works were exhibited at the George Gustav Heye Center, a branch of the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City.
Rick carving The Cedar Mill Pole was displayed in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden at the White House in 1997; it had been designated one of the most highly regarded Native American public sculptures in the country.
And the pole was partially inspired by Bartow’s work with the Māori artist John Bevan Ford.
However, given as a gift to the Portland, Oregon metropolitan community from Oregon’s Washington County and the Oregon College of Art and Craft, it was intended to help heal the controversy that surrounded an urban development project.
Rick was a 26-foot-tall carving was created using one of the giant cedars that were removed for a road project.
His monumental cedar sculptures “We Were Always Here” were commissioned by the Smithsonian National Museum, and sit on the Washington DC Mall, visually across from the Washington Monument, at the entrance to the National Museum of Indian Art.
Rick Bartow passed away at 69 yrs old.