Walt Groover


Walt Groover 

Born 1948



Groover earned his B.A. at California State University in Los Angeles, majoring in fine art with a minor in design, and subsequently attended the Art Center College of Design in California. Groover started his career as a freelance designer in Los Angeles. From there, he traveled extensively in Europe, and in Germany found work with the Horst Hennel Architecture group as a draftsman, and then as a designer/photographer with the Wolfgang Etz Design Studio. He was allowed a flexible schedule to work and travel. This enabled him to experience different cultures and art throughout Europe, Northern Africa and Scandinavia for three years. In 1985, he founded Light Communications in Atlanta, focusing on design and photography. In addition to design, he began sculpting in the late 1990’s. Of his current work, he states that he is affected in a very personal way by all he sees and hears. Therefore, his work “becomes a study of and commentary on, the human condition, and situations of everyday life, injustice or deprivation.” He begins with drawing “two dimensional explorations” and from there he moves onto carving wood, maintaining the integrity of his final drawing. The finished wood sculpture usually stands on its own as a finished piece, but on occasion, acts as the basis for a mold to be cast in bronze.


Artist Statement:

My work is affected in a very personal way by all I see and hear. In a sense, it becomes a study of and commentary on, the human condition, and situations of everyday life, injustice or deprivation. The substance of the figures is an exploration of the dual contrast between the solid and the delicate with an underlying subject that relates to the human qualities of vulnerability and strength. Of course, apart from human emotional experience, other things come into play in the creation of my work, like proportion, balance, symmetry, asymmetry, contrast, shadow, highlights, texture and color.

Like many artists, I draw my process from an interpretation of life around me. Real life people, photographs, movies, places, patterns in stone, dirt and water, just to start. I never know beforehand what will spark the beginnings of a new work.

From the initial concept comes drawing. I’ve drawn as far back as I can remember. An individual work may take one preliminary drawing to capture the spirit of a concept or sometimes a hundred, but that is the nature of creativity.  From these two-dimensional explorations I move to the carving phase in wood, all the time attempting to maintain the integrity of the final drawing. The quality of a curve is essential. An angle of an element is crucial. This attention to detail maintains the integrity of the original idea. Surface detail comes about after the shaping of the sculpture. Many times, I may have no preconceptions what this will be. The feeling of the piece helps me find what happens on the surface.

The piece itself dictates what is needed.  

The finished wood sculpture usually stands on its own as a finished piece in and of itself.  On occasion, a piece seems to offer itself as a perfect candidate for a different medium and, in this case, my wood model becomes the basis for a mold to be cast in bronze. Sometimes the bronze may be finished in a way that alters the feeling of its original wooden model, although the spirit of the work usually remains intact.


Finishing Processes:

The wooden sculptures that are black comes from an ebonizing process. Ebonizing causes a chemical reaction that turns wood fibre black. The elements that cause this chemical reaction are the bark powder of a Quebracho tree (found in Argentina and Brazil) and iron. Other uses is to shade from black to rich browns creating a vignette. Occasionally I will use Quebracho Bark as a wood dye without the use of Iron, which has rich and clear color staining properties. Other types of stain are also used.

Some final finishing processes include the use of tung oils, and other special oils that darken and harden with age. In most cases wax is used to cover the final finish, buffed to a soft sheen. Wax can also be reapplied later to liven the finish of wood or bronze.




WIllow Oak Tree Exhibit

Curator: Abraham Tesser

August 28 – November 18, 2021


Natioinal Juried Art Exhibition

Juror: Chad Alligood

April 19 – May 24, 2019


44th Juried Exhibition

Juror: Lauren Haynes, Curator of Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art March 7 – May 3, 2019


Members Exhibit Summer 2016 June 3, – July 8, 2016

QUINLAN/Georgia Art League  Winter Juried Exhibition  First Place in show.

December10, 2015 –  February 20, 2016 


Georgia Small Works Juried Exhibition

October 9 –  November 13, 2015