The Salem Convention Center has acquired a significant painting by noted Native American artist
Rick Bartow for its collection through a unique partnership with the nonprofit Oregon Artists
Series Foundation. Bartow’s Tricks, a 36” x 36” acrylic on canvas work, has been installed on the
west end of the first floor, where it can be seen during business hours. The new painting will be
celebrated during a reception on Monday, September 23, 2019, from 5:50 – 7 pm.
Since 2006, the Oregon Artists Series has facilitated the support of art throughout the Convention
Center: the Mayor’s Art Annual exhibitions and purchase of works from it; acquisitions and loans
of exterior sculptures installed south of the building; and collaborations with the Hallie Ford
Museum of Art which loans contemporary works from its collection at Willamette University.
The purchase of Tricks marks the Convention Center’s first art acquisition in 2019.
“The Convention Center hosts events that bring people from across the globe to Salem. We’re
thrilled to have a painting by one of Oregon’s most noted Native American artists,” said Chrissie
Bertsch, General Manager. “Our partnership with the Oregon Artists Series Foundation helps us
identify excellent artists and works to enhance our facility.”
Rick 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
leaders in contemporary Native American art. He lived in Newport, Oregon throughout his life, and
in 1969, received a BA in secondary art education from Western Oregon State College in
Over the course of his nearly 40-year career as an artist, he created sculptures, paintings,
drawings and prints, which were featured in over 100 solo exhibitions at museums and galleries
across the country and internationally. He often depicted figures in transformation, and
humans communing with all kinds of animals such as crows, kestrels, coyotes, bears, deer
and horses. A retrospective of his work, Things You Know But Cannot Explain, organized by the
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, continues to tour nationally through
Rick Bartow passed away in 2016; his estate is represented by Froelick Gallery in Portland.