Three color woodcut
The Rattlesnake Valley Press Centennial Issue
Walter Hook has had a singularly prolific career - over 80 one-man exhibitions, over 90 major regional awards and inclusion in private and public collections throughout the United States.
Born and raised near Missoula, Hook feels he could be an artist anywhere though he is sure there is always something about being in a particular location that is bound to influence an artist's work.
Hook's early working years included teaching mathematics and physics, a stint in the Navy during World War II and employment by the Atomic Energy Commission in New Mexico and Washington. This scientific side may account for some of the technical virtuosity for which he is known. Following his New Mexico years, during which he also earned his masters of arts degree, Hook returned to Missoula and began a distinguished teaching career at the University of Montana. The university years included and were followed by many awards, among them election as an Associate in the National Academy of Design and the Governor's Award in the Visual Arts for 1985.
"Enthusiastic" is the word Hook uses to describe his feelings about being included in the Rattlesnake Valley Press Centennial Portfolio. His print draws on a familiar and recurring Hook theme - cats. When asked what meaning the cat has for him he simply responds that he knows them, has lived with them and has observed them firsthand. As is so often the case with Hook, images simply stand for themselves. This particular feline, however, is special. He is in Hook's words the "Clark Gable" of cats, "a neat dresser with big dark eyes." Those who need to analyze further may feel free.
--From the Rattlesnake Valley Press Centennial Issue, 1989, Margaret Mudd