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CORDOVA, ALASKA-Longtime Alaskan Artist John Hoover passed away on Saturday morning, September 3rd, near Grapeview in Puget Sound. He was 91. Hoover was born in Cordova on October 13th, 1919. He was of Dutch-Aleut-Russian ancestry. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
John Hoover began his exploration into art in 1960, shortly after he completed building the “Aldebaran.” The boat is a 58 foot limit seiner that Hoover built in his back yard in Cordova. The boat is named after a red giant star in the zodiac constellation Taurus. It means “the follower.” This vessel still plies the waters around Port Townsend in Washington. It was this project that caused Hoover to look towards art.
A contemporary artist, Hoover took his ideas from Alaska Native tales and imagery and put them into wood. His art excited collectors around the world and was highly sought after by museums, corporations as well as collectors. One only needs look around places like Anchorage to view some of his many pieces. His work adorns such places as the Egan Civic Center, Alaska Native Heritage Center, and Alaska Native Medical Center.
The Anchorage Museum honored him with a retrospective of his work in 2002. The University of Alaska Anchorage also honored him with an honorary Doctorate in May of this year. He also had his work shown at the International Gallery of Art.
Hoover was also a life-long fisherman. He worked that trade for many years until retiring in 1991.