Rande Cook was born and raised in culture-rich Alert Bay, a small village on the Northern tip of Vancouver Island. With a strong connection to his grandparents, grandfather Gus Matilpi taught him the essential values of his culture. Learning to dance and sing traditionally, Rande developed a strong connection to the art form. It was then that Rande put pressure on his grandfather to teach him the elements of traditional art, something that lived deep in the heart of his people. Rande knew he wanted to be an artist from an early age.
Rande now resides in Victoria, B.C. where he is strongly connected to other major influences in the art world.
Constantly pushing the boundaries of Native art, Rande likes to visit the contemporary world fusing ideas and touching on new techniques to bring his work to life.
Growing up, Rande developed a strong relationship with his close cousin who he now calls brother, William Wasden Jr. It was through him that Rande first learned a distinctive style of art, which came from his people. William Wasden Jr. is considered one of the best flat designers amongst his people. Rande and William are now strong leaders for their nation. Other strong influences in Rande’s art form are Don Yeomans, Susan Point, Beau Dick, Calvin Hunt, John Livingston, Robert Davidson and the late Art Thompson. Rande pays great respect to these artists for their dedication, and bringing the art form to new heights in a new world.
It was John Livingston who opened up the world of carving. Rande apprenticed with John for six years, learning different styles of form from the Northern Coast of the Island up to Alaska. While working under John, Rande met many accomplished artists giving him more insight to strive towards perfection. Each artist who has influenced his work have all come from great teachers and are now leading artists in their nations
Today Rande takes the fundamentals passed on to him from his teachers seeking a new signature, pushing the bar and opening many new doors for young artists to see.
Rande is considered to be one of the more talented up and coming artists of his age, having created a distinctive style. Rande is always in search of new ideas, and methods of creativity.
Artist Statement 2009
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