Tuesday, May 20, 2003


Art became passion for Johanna Hooker

By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Johanna "Jo" Cameron Hooker, a psychotherapist who later became a sculptor, art collector and gallery owner, died of a stroke Thursday at Christ Hospital.

The longtime Hyde Park resident was 82.

"She was always interested in many things. And she was successful because she pursued those interests," said her daughter, Cynthia Robinson Sieber of Anderson Township.

Raised in Clifton, Mrs. Hooker graduated from Walnut Hills High School and earned a bachelor's in psychology from the University of Cincinnati in 1942.

In 1964, Mrs. Hooker began working with Walter Driesbach, a widely known Cincinnati sculptor.

She primarily worked in clay and plaster, and eventually progressed into carving stone.

Three years later, she started attending classes at the Cincinnati Art Academy, where she studied art history, composition and design.

She also began displaying - and selling - her artwork.

In 1973, Mrs. Hooker earned a master's from Ohio State University and began practicing psychotherapy at local institutions, including the Rollman Psychiatric Institute, the Drop-Inn Center Shelter and Jewish Hospital.

She formed a private practice in 1979, while continuing to attend night classes at the Art Academy. Around this time, she began traveling extensively to Europe and Asia.

While she was living in Paris off-and-on for about five years, Mrs. Hooker formed a collection of caricatures from the Belle Špoque in France. The collection was exhibited at the Miami University Art Museum in 1994 and 1995.

"This collection also fueled my desire to have an art gallery of my own," Mrs. Hooker once said.

In 1994, she stopped working in mental health and devoted her time to art. She opened the Cameron Gallery in Mount Adams.

Her husband, Stanley A. Hooker Jr., preceded her in death.

Besides her daughter, other survivors include two sons, James Douglas Cameron of Guam and David B. Cameron of Austin, Texas; a sister, Dorothy Ayer Joseph of Sarasota, Fla.; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Visitation will be 11 a.m. to noon Friday at Knox Presbyterian Church, 3400 Michigan Ave. in Hyde Park.

A service will follow. Burial will be private.

Memorials can be made to the American Lung Association of Ohio, Southwest Branch, 11113 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati 45242.

E-mail nhamilton@enquirer.com

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