Singers from the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians Perform at an Opening Ceremony on the University of Oregon Memorial Quad for “Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain”

The exhibition opens Friday, April 17 with an opening ceremony at 5:30 p.m. and a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. and is complemented by a full series of programs


EUGENE, Ore. -- (March 27, 2015) – A full series of programs complements the major retrospective exhibition “Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain,” on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art from April 18 to August 9, 2015. The exhibition opens with a ceremony on April 17, at 5:30 p.m. on the UO Memorial Quad in front of the museum, followed by a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Additional events include artist’s talks, panel discussions, a family day, workshops, and a symposium addressing a variety of topics inspired by the Oregon artist, his Native American heritage, and art and healthcare. All events are open to the public and are free unless otherwise indicated.


More than 120 paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, and mixed media works are in view in “Things You Know but Cannot Explain,” an exhibition  curated by Jill Hartz, JSMA Executive Director, and Danielle Knapp, JSMA McCosh Associate Curator.  Drawn from public and private collections as well as the artist’s studio, the exhibition and accompanying catalog explore themes central to the artist’s work and life: “Gesture,” “Self,” “Dialogue,” “Tradition,” and “Transformation,” as well as “New Work,” featuring exciting examples of Bartow’s production since his stroke in August 2013 that evidence a new freedom of scale and expression.


On April 16 at 12:30 p.m. at the University of Oregon’s Knight Law School, Howard Arnett, attorney and adjunct professor, UO; Jason Younker, Assistant Vice President and Advisor to the President, UO; and Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse, former member of the United States House of Representatives and Director, Institute for Tribal Government, Portland State University, will address legal perspectives related to tribal rights; held in Room 141 in the Law School, the panel is moderated by Dom Vetri, Professor Emeritus, UO School of Law, and a member of the JSMA’s Leadership Council.


The exhibition will open on Friday, April 17, at 5:30 p.m. with a special ceremony on the University of Oregon Memorial Quad in front of the museum. Jason Younker, Assistant Vice President and Advisor to the President on Sovereignty and Government-to-Government Relations, will serve as Master of Ceremonies, and the program will include remarks by University of Oregon interim President Scott Coltrane, JSMA Executive Director Jill Hartz, Mayor of Newport Sandra Roumagoux, Rick Bartow, Charles Froelick of Froelick Gallery, and artist Frank LaPena. Singers from the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians will perform in the artist’s honor.  The opening reception follows from 6 to 8 p.m. and features live music by the artist and his band, the Backseat Drivers.


On Saturday, April 18, at 11 a.m. artists Seiichi Hiroshima, Frank LaPena, James Lavadour, and Lillian Pitt will speak in a tribute to Bartow, moderated by Dr. Rebecca Dobkins, Professor of Anthropology and Curator of Native American Art, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University.  The artists’ roundtable is sponsored by the UO Office of Academic Affairs.  At 2 p.m. that same day, exhibition co-curator Danielle Knapp and Lawrence Fong, former JSMA curator of American and regional art, will lead a conversation with Bartow.


In May, the JSMA will host a free family day, a panel on collecting Native American contemporary art, and a symposium.  On Saturday, May 16, from noon to 3 p.m., visitors can enjoy art activities and performances by Oregon artists and arts organizations and learn about the art of storytelling and Native American crafts at the JSMA’s free Family Day, sponsored by Kendall Auto Group. Wednesday, May 20 at 5:30 p.m. gallerist Charles Froelick, collector Bill Avery, and Susan Kennedy Zeller, Associate Curator, Native American Art, Brooklyn Museum discuss collecting Bartow’s art in a panel discussion moderated by Knapp.


On Saturday, May 30, the JSMA will host “Things You Know But Cannot Explain: A Symposium,” made possible with support from the UO Office of Academic Affairs.  The first session, “Art and Healing” at 10 a.m., offers a panel discussion moderated by Lisa Abia-Smith, JSMA Director of Education, with guests Dr. Patricia Dewey Lambert, Program Director, UO Arts and Administration Program, and Coordinator, Arts in Healthcare Management Concentration; Sara McDonough, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMRT) and Registered Art Therapist,  Board Certified (ATR-BC).; Eliza Murphy, writer and healthcare professional; and David Reese, graduate student in Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies, UO.


The afternoon session, Art & (Dis)Place, which begins at 2 p.m. presents a panel discussion moderated by Knapp with Dr. Amy Lonetree, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of California, Santa Cruz; Patsy Phillips, Director, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, a center of the Institute of American Indian Arts; T. Lulani Arquette, President/CEO of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF), Vancouver, WA; and Wendy Red Star, Portland, OR-based artist and Program Associate, NACF.


Also on Saturday, May 30, from 1 to 3 p.m., art therapist Sara McDonough, LMFT, ATR-BC , will lead a hands-on workshop on Art and Healing that will explore methods and techniques for using art in your daily life. Advance registration is required and the fee ($10 students / $20 non-students) includes all art materials.


The JSMA’s Bartow programs conclude on Saturday, July 18, at 2pm, with a conversation between author Barry Lopez and Bartow.


Additional events related to the exhibition are as follows:

  • Eugene ArtTalk with Rick Bartow on Friday, April 3, at 5:30 p.m. at The Studio at the Hult Center;
  • Free admission to the JSMA on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22;
  • Dynamic Collaborations, a Printmaking Workshop with Rick Bartow and Seiichi Hiroshima (fee, registration required) at Lane Community College on April 25 and 26 (add phone or link for more information);
  • 47th Annual UO Mother’s Day Powwow at Mac Court from May 8–10, which includes free admission to the museum; and


A full schedule of events can be found at


Bartow, one of the nation’s most prominent contemporary Native American artists, was born in Newport, Oregon, in 1946. He is a member of the Wiyot tribe of Northern California and has close ties with the Siletz community.   He graduated in 1969 from Western Oregon University with a degree in secondary arts education and served in the Vietnam War (1969-71).  His work is permanently held in more than 60 public institutions in the U.S., including Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; Brooklyn Museum, NY; and Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA. He has had 35 solo museum exhibitions and his art has been referenced in more than 250 books, catalogs, and articles.


Support for the exhibition is provided by the Ford Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Arlene Schnitzer, the Coeta and Donald Barker Changing Exhibitions Endowment, The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, a grant from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, the Ballinger Endowment, Philip and Sandra Piele, and JSMA members.

About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, the Americas and Europe as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


JSMA: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,