Artist and art teacher Walter Hook left one of his early major works on the wall of Bonner Elementary School's library. This Saturday, the school has teamed with the Missoula Art Museum to celebrate Hook's efforts to spread art in the community.

MAM has already installed 13 Hook pieces from its permanent collection at Bonner School in advance of the "Hooked On Art" celebration Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Museum permanent collection manager Jennifer Reifsneider said many of them haven't been on public display before, some coming from local private collections that have recently been donated to the museum.

"For the last year or two, we have made an effort to get some of the collection out into county offices," Reifsneider said. "We've also wanted to get it out more into the schools. When Friends of Two Rivers approached me about this, I was really excited."

"This was an opportunity to get together as a community and do something for and with the school, which is kind of the heart of the community," said Mary Erickson, a board member of Friends of Two Rivers which is helping organize the event. "And it's a good opportunity to come look for a Valentine's gift for your sweetie."

Several of Hook's colleagues and childhood friends will visit the school during a program celebrating his life at 1:30 p.m. They include artists and art teachers Rudy and Lela Autio and George Gogas, former high school art student Victor Hangas, neighbor Richard Bush and Hook's daughter, Janet Julin. Anyone else with memories or stories about Hook will be invited to share as well.

A Community Art Market will display works of local artisans for sale. The Blackfoot Piece Makers Guild will display 30 of its quilts in the school gym and will have some quilted items for sale as well.

Erickson said about 30 artists, mostly from the Bonner and Milltown area, had registered to display their wares. Mediums include bronzes, watercolors, jewelry and photography. There is a requested $10 donation to the Bonner arts program for display space. Erickson said artists could still request a table until 9 p.m. Friday.

Both children and adults can learn new art techniques at workshops offered during the celebration. Bonner art instructor Erin Roberts will lead a couple of printmaking classes during the celebration, including one for children during the Hook reminiscence so adults can attend it without distraction.

Students in the Bonner Close-Up program will sell lunch and refreshments throughout the day. They are raising money for a trip to Washington, D.C., this spring.

Reporter Rob Chaney can be reached at 523-5382 or at

Get hooked

If you're interested in selling art at the "Hooked On Art" celebration at Bonner Elementary School on Saturday, contact Mary Erickson at 258-6930 before 9 p.m. Friday. There is a requested $10 donation for the Bonner School art program for table space.

The "Hooked On Art" celebration runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Bonner School library and gym. The event is free to the public.

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