John Hooper (sculptor)

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John Hooper
Died26 January 2006
NationalityEnglish-born Canadian
Known forsculpture

John Hooper, OC (1926 – 26 January 2006) was an English-born Canadian sculptor known for his colourful polychromed wood carvings.[1] His works can be found on public display in many locations throughout Canada and worldwide.


Born in England, Hooper also spent time in his youth in China, and served as a captain in the British Army in India in 1944.[2] Hooper was educated at the Royal College of Art and Bournemouth College of Art (now The Arts Institute at Bournemouth),[3] and studied with sculptor Jacob Epstein.[2][4][5] After teaching at the University of Natal in South Africa from 1956 to 1962, he moved to New Brunswick, Canada, where he lived for the rest of his life, for many years working as a school teacher and administrator before devoting himself full-time to art in 1974.[3][4][5]

Hooper was married to Kathy, an artist from South Africa who herself won the Strathbutler Award in 1994.[6][7] With her he had four children[5] and founded Hooper Studios, a centre for art and art education in Hampton, New Brunswick.

Works on public display[edit]

Hooper's art can be seen in Market Square and outside the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, in Sinclair Centre in Vancouver, at the Centennial Building in Fredericton, New Brunswick,[2] in several places around Saint John, New Brunswick,[8][9] and at the Pilgrim School in Los Angeles.[3] The New Brunswick Museum houses several more of his works[10] as does the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.[8] His bronze statue of Terry Fox stands on Wellington Street in Ottawa, across the street from the national Parliament Buildings.

Awards and honours[edit]

In 1991, Hooper was the first recipient of the Strathbutler Award For Fine Craft And Visual Arts, a $10,000 annual award given by the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation for New Brunswick artists.[6][11] In 2000, he won the Miller Brittain Award for Excellence in Visual Arts from the New Brunswick Art Board.[12] He was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[13] On 27 April 2000, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.[14]


  1. ^ "Sculptor John Hooper dies", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 28 January 2006.
  2. ^ a b c John Hooper Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, City of Vancouver Public Art Registry.
  3. ^ a b c Public art finds a home at Pilgrim School Archived 28 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine", Advertising supplement to Los Angeles Business Journal, 8 July 2002.
  4. ^ a b "The World of John Hooper", announcement for a show in the Arts and Culture Centre, Saint John, New Brunswick, 19 March 1998, with a brief biographical sketch of Hooper.
  5. ^ a b c A Tribute to John Hooper[permanent dead link]. Bob Hinman, Reflections – A Magazine By and For Retired Teachers, Vol. XXIII, No. 3, Spring 2006.
  6. ^ a b Sandra Flood, "Five New Brunswick Artists: Strathbutler Award, 1991–1995", Goose Lane Editions, 1997, ISBN 978-0-9681601-0-7.
  7. ^ Artist's statement Archived 17 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Kathy Hooper, Hooper Studios.
  8. ^ a b "Persona non grata", The Globe and Mail, 12 April 2004. News story about the uncertain fate of Hooper's sculptures at the Saint John's post office.
  9. ^ "Hooper statues back on display in Saint John", CBC News, 4 September 2009.
  10. ^ John Hooper Memorial Exhibition at New Brunswick Museum, New Brunswick Museum, 16 October 2006.
  11. ^ John Hooper, Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation
  12. ^ Past Award Recipients Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, New Brunswick Art Board
  13. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  14. ^ "Investiture of the Order of Canada at Rideau Hall", Canadian Governor-General's Office, 10 Nov. 2000.

Additional sources[edit]