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In Memoriam 2016

The Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) is honored to feature artworks in the State Art Collection by Rick Bartow, Francis Celentano, Jake Seniuk, and John Sisko, four influential Northwest artists who died in 2016. In celebration of their talent, insight, and creativity, we are proud to present selected works by the artists included in the State Art Collection.

Widely celebrated for his stirring and expressive artworks, Rick Bartow (1946-2016) combined contemporary artistic methods with techniques traditional to his Wiyot heritage to portray transformative and spiritual figures. Featured artworks are part of a series of ten self-portraits created by Bartow for the "Who We Are: Autobiographies in Art" collection commissioned by the Washington Arts Commission in partnership with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

One of the pioneers of Op-Art and a professor at the University of Washington for thirty years, Francis Celentano (1928-2016) created paintings and sculpture that investigate perception and color theory. Featured artworks are part of his "Spira" series of vibrantly painted wall sculptures, which create tension between color and structure to generate the impression of a vertically spiraling coil.

Jake Seniuk (1949-2016) was the director of the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center from 1989 to 2012, and was a passionate artist and arts advocate. Featured artworks are part of his series "Ten Archetypes," comprised of intricately layered sculptures that are conceptually inspired by the work of 20th century thinker Carl Jung. Like Rick Bartow's self-portraits, these works were created by Seniuk for the "Who We Are: Autobiographies in Art" collection.

John Sisko (1958-2016) was a Seattle-based figurative sculptor and gallerist. At the time of his passing, he was fabricating a multi-panel wall-relief sculpture for the Seattle Maritime Academy, part of Seattle Central College. The Washington State Arts Commission is working with the artist's estate to complete the project. The imagery for the artwork was inspired by WPA-era American murals, an artistic tradition that Sisko noted "championed the American working person and industry and farms in particular, and it seems very appropriate to make the historic visual connection with the Seattle Maritime Academy."

Bartow, Rick
Celentano, Francis
Seniuk, Jake