Gail Severn Gallery

Robert McCauley


Born and raised in Mt. Vernon, Washington, Robert McCauley has been influenced by the Northwest Coast culture in his artwork. Originally an oceanography major at Western Washington University, he switched to art when he realized that oceanographers have to work in labs. Later, hearing that it was best to go east for grad school, he went all the way to eastern Washington to attend Washington State University. After getting an MFA in 1972, he settled in Illinois to teach at Rockford College. After a long and distinguished career as a professor and chairman of the art department, McCauley returned to his beloved Skagit Valley to live and work.


While McCauley’s paintings, drawings, installations and mixed media works are rooted in the tradition of 19th century American Romanticism, his narratives are contemporary, timely and relevant. Through the metaphorical juxtaposition of found objects, inscribed texts on frames and ambiguous titles, McCauley addresses a wide variety of contemporary themes and issues, including cultures in collision, environmental ethics, humankind’s impact on nature and the appropriation of nature in art.

McCauley’s paintings are sometimes ambiguous, but not so much that no meaning comes across. Returning to his childhood haunts each summer has shown the artist how much things keep changing. “The salmon streams I fished in are silted up and have no more salmon,” he says. “The Native Americans used to set a trap of chicken wire a half mile out to sea, and I would watch the salmon in the trap in awe. That’s gone. Even the huge fishing resorts are gone because the fish are gone. Clear-cutting is still common. A small greenbelt of ten feet on either side of the roads makes you think you’re looking at forest, but beyond that it’s just devastation.”

Alberta Trunk and Gas Line Company, Alberta, Canada

Amoco, Denver, CO

Anoka-Ramsey State Junior College

Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR

Atlantic Richfield Company, Los Angeles, CA

Augustana College, Rock Island, IL

Baird and Warner, Chicago, IL

Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA

Borg-Warner, Chicago, IL

Continental Bank of Chicago, Chicago, IL

DePaul University Museum, Chicago, IL

Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL

Herman Miller, Inc., Zeeland, MI

Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL


Joseph Behr and Sons, Rockford, IL

Kemper Group, Long Grove, IL

Microsoft, Seattle, WA

Milliken University, Decatur, IL

National Sportsman Library and Museum, Virginia

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL

Phillip Morris, New York, NY

Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL

Rockford College, Rockford, IL

Saks Fifth Avenue, New York, NY; Portland, OR;

   Denver, CO; Troy, MI; Minneapolis, MN

Security Pacific National Bank, Los Angeles/Sanger, CA

U.S. Embassy, Romania

Wabash College, Crawfordsville, IN

Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

Click here for Online catalog of December 2016 Exhibition

Not About the Bear

400 First Avenue North • P.O. Box 1679 Ketchum, ID 83340-1679 
208.726.5079  •


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Gail Severn Gallery