Four Paintings of the Ceremony that Never Was

Acrylic on Panel

Clockwise from top left:
The Tale that the Crow Told,
No Dogs at the Ceremony, The Dancers Arrive, Acquiring a Taste for Crow


The title of this stunning work is the result of critical review of his work from years back. Not so recently, Bartow created a salmon mask for an exhibit. It was not traditional, nor did it have any historical use at any particular ceremony. At the time, Bartow “did not even know what tribe he was in” much less what ceremony a mask like this would be worn to.


After this salmon mask was placed in the exhibit, a critic reviewed the work in a harshly ambiguous fashion. His comments went something like: “This mask should only be viewed in the private ceremony it was made for.” At that, Bartow was unsure how to react, and much later created this piece “Four Paintings for the Ceremony that Never Was” in honor of his unsettling, almost humorous review.