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Abstracted:  Where Science Meets Art and Music

This exhibition presents highlights from a popular exhibition Rick Bartow:  Things You know But Cannot Explain, which was on view at the Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, in 2015.  Subsequently, that exhibition went on a national tour, to  eleven venues over five years. The Little Gallery’s selection from that event includes drawings, paintings, prints, pastels, and sculpture and covers Bartow’s work from 1979-2013.

Installations should bring forth the character and personality of the artist –– Rick Bartow’s autobiography became known through his many paintings, prints, and other works of art.  Bartow was unafraid of exploring the most unsettling of emotions:  grief, terror, and loss.  But while he had his share of tragedy, his narratives are not so much about his struggles as a way through them. 

The theme of transformation was central to Bartow’s work.  Representations of transformation between human and animal realms, between corporeal and spiritual dimensions, between male and female, and between despair and hope, are found throughout his work.  

Bartow’s work has received national recognition.  He is known foremost as a contemporary American artist, but also, one who has lived the Native American experience. Native American mythological characters become familiar, never clichéd, in his hands.  

Many thanks to the collector,  for allowing us to borrow from his collection and for his generosity of time and encouragement as we prepared this exhibition. 

“The light floods in, love returns, and the hand begins its labors in color and line.” – Rick Bartow


Deer Spirit for Frank La Pena | 1999

Acrylic on Panel | 24 x 24”


Things You Know But Cannot Explain| 1979

Graphite on Paper | 24 x 19”

Coyote & The Myth, 1991-Rick Bartow.jpg

Coyote & The Myth | 1991

Pastel, Graphite on Paper | 40 x 26”

Falcon rick bartow.jpg
Crow’s Creation V rick bartow.jpg

Falcon | 2001

Acrylic on Panel | 24 x 24 ''

Crow’s Creation V | 1992

Pastel, Graphite on Paper | 26 x 40"

Rick Bartow RavenintheWhirlwind.jpg

Raven in the Whirlwind | 2004

Monoprint | 30 x 22"

Rick Bartow .png

The Little Gallery is located in Oregon State University at 210 Kidder Hall Corvallis, Oregon 97331

Hours are: Monday to Friday: 10 am - 6 pm 

Closed during noon hour 


Highlights from Things You Know But Cannot Explain by Rick Bartow opening reception is with the collector is Thursday January 13, 2022 – 4 pm - 5:30 pm. On view January 10th - February 25, 2022 If you would like to be added to the email list to be notified of upcoming exhibitions, or would like to send in a submission for a possible exhibition opportunity, please contact Helen Wilhelm at or call 541-737-2146.

Artist Rick Bartow.jpg

Bartow lived and worked in Newport, Oregon. In 1969, he graduated from Western Oregon state College with a BA in Secondary Aft Education.  Bartow was a Vietnam Veteran, a life-long musician and songwriter, a widower, an enrolled member of the mad River Band of Wiyot Indians, and is considered one of the most important leader in contemporary Native American art.

Rick Bartow was a member of the Wiyot tribe of Northern California but also had close ties to the Siletz Community.  His work is permanently held in over 100 public collections in the US, including Yale University, New Haven, CT, Brooklyn Museum, NY and the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR.  His work has been the subject of over 100 solo exhibitions at museums and galleries, including the retrospective Things You Know but Cannot Explain, organized by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in collaboration with Froelick Gallery. His work has been referenced in hundreds of books, catalogs, and articles.

Rick Bartow
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