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A La Porte County Lives in the Spotlight: Andrea Peterson and Jon Hook

By: Contributor Last Updated: May 24, 2017

Andrea Peterson and Jon Hook, owners of Hook Pottery Paper Gallery, have always had a passion for art, each bringing their own unique style to the art world and for the past 20 years, the Northwest Indiana community.

Peterson was born in Portage, Wisconsin, while Hook was born in South Holland, Illinois. In high school, both had a passion for the outdoors, a passion which has continued today. Peterson loved to hike, and Hook loved to canoe, anything that would get them outside.

“We love to do everything outdoors,” Hook said. “Camping, cooking outside, farming, even gardening.”

After graduating high school, both artists went on to continue their education, with Peterson receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and her Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and Hook receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Ceramics and a minor in English at Hope College in Holland, Minnesota. They later crossed paths by chance, thanks to some mutual friends.

“We met at a dinner party,” Hook explained. “We met through mutual friends and hit it off right away.”

The couple got married and for a while, they lived in the city, but new it was time to move out into the country to better suit the art they wanted and needed to make.

“I was in Chicago and Jon had just arrived from Minneapolis and we decided it was time to move out to the country,” Peterson explained. “We wanted to build a wood-fire kiln, which is something you couldn’t build in a city like Chicago because of the flames and the temperature. So, we ended up out here because we were close to Jon’s parents and then we started our business, Hook Pottery Paper.”

Hook Pottery Paper, located in La Porte, is a farm gallery that incorporates Hook’s pottery skills, Peterson’s printmaking skills, and their love of nature and the environment. Hook’s pottery is a mix of functional and sculptural pottery and Peterson’s printmaking consists of paper works, artist books, and environmental installation pieces. Their work strives to live in harmony with the environment, a passion that goes back years and continues to influence their art and lives every day.

“We are living our dream here,” Peterson said. “We are living our creative lifestyle, whether we’re cooking dinner with the greens that we just pulled from our garden, or that we are putting onto the pottery that we have created, cutting logs that will heat our home, or selling our greens to local restaurants. We are living our creative dream.”

Hook and Peterson have two sons, Ry, who is 19, and Lu, who is 17. Both of their sons inherited their parent’s creativity and unity with the environment; Ry is practicing organic grain farming and builds most of the equipment he uses, and Lu is a budding mycologist and has set up his own tissue culture for mushroom studies.

“Both of them are creative in their own way,” Hook said.

Hook Pottery Paper is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year, all thanks to Peterson and Hook’s creativity and dedication to exploring their relationship with the environment. It’s natural for the two artists because this is where their passion lies and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

“Art chooses you,” Peterson said. “It’s a really hard lifestyle and you don’t go into art for the money. It’s demanding, but art has the power to make change, bring awareness to global issues, and, of course, inspire people.”

For more information about Hook Pottery Paper and upcoming shows, head to the website.