Rande Cook, born in 1977 in Alert Bay, is an artist of Kwakwaka’wakw heritage. He is a member of the ‘Namgis First Nation. Early on, his grandfather, Gus Matilpi, taught him the essential elements of art and impressed upon him how art both reflects and connects culture. Rande inherited his grandfather’s chieftainship in 2008, and now holds the name Makwala, which means moon. He is highly respected in his community for his cultural contributions.
Cook moved to Victoria in 1991. After graduating from high school he began to explore Northwest Coast Art. Cook’s close relationship with his cousin William Wasden Jr. influenced his decision to pursue art more seriously. In developing his skills, he found mentorship from a number of renowned artists, such as Beau Dick, Don Yeomans, and John Livingston. Rande was also fortunate to spend time with Bruce Alfred learning how to bend traditional Northwest Coast boxes, as well as Robert Davidson in learning metal work.
Rande's deep appreciation for the diversity of coastal artists and their many variations of style and expression is reflected in the gold and silver jewelry he crafts, as well as the bentwood boxes, panels, drums, prints and paddles he produces. His work is held in public and private galleries all over the world. It has also been exhibited in various museums, such as the Museum of Art and Design in New York. He recently completed a 26' totem pole that has been permanently installed outside the Museum Volkenkunde Leiden in the Netherlands.