Rick Bartow (Wiyot) was born in 1946 in Newport, Oregon. In 1969, he earned his bachelor's degree in Art Education at Western Oregon State College. After serving in the Vietnam War, Bartow began a personal exploration of his life through art — a journey that has taken him across the face of the globe and earned him international acclaim.

Although his art is influenced by diverse cultural traditions and a cosmopolitan array of aesthetic influences, the raw and primal energy that animates Bartow's work is drawn directly from his Native American heritage, where mythological themes of human/animal transformation figure prominently. These other-worldly narratives of human embodiment in animal form serve as an artistic metaphor for Bartow's often visceral, always evolving, exploration of self and Native identity.

"Using Coyote's tail for a brush and Raven's beak to make my marks, I am blind to my destination".

In 2003, Bartow was featured in Continuum — 12 Artists at the National Museum of the American Indian's George Gustav Heye Center, New York, NY.

My Eye, a 15-year, traveling retrospective, opened in 2002, at Willamette University's Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, Oregon.

Recent international exhibitions include Rick Bartow, Fisher Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand (1999); Rick Bartow Drawings: Flowers and Animals, Yanagisawa Gallery, Saitama City, Japan; and Portaits, Azabu Kasumicho, Tokyo, Japan (1997). Rick Bartow is represented exclusively by Froelick Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

Citing Marc Chagall's dictum, "Let us try to discover what is authentic in our lives," Bartow writes, "The next step is to attempt an expression of that authenticity. I have recently begun to employ more than one figure in my work — a conscious effort to remove the figurative element from a psychological to a more physically involved state. It also stems from a desire to see people not alone.

At times I understand where an image originates, but more often than not it is the initial result of an unconscious use of line and form. The energy of the work sometimes becomes too active for a small format. The gestures need to utilize a larger area. As life become richer and more dear, the drawings become larger, more involved, the imagery more complex, and the color more intense, in an effort to express what I feel is authentic."