Born and raised in Irvington, New Jersey, Walt Gonske first attended art school in Newark. His art studies were interrupted by his service in the Enlisted Reserves and several years as an illustrator for various advertising agencies. Walt resumed his art studies at the Frank Reilly School of Art in New York City then worked as a free-lance illustrator in the fashion field.
It was in 1971 that Walt first visited Taos, New Mexico and came under the spell of the “Land of Enchantment”. “I began to wonder what it would be like to live in northern New Mexico, paint landscapes, and maybe even sell some,” states the artist. “Moving out here was, without a doubt the smartest decision I ever made”, which he did in 1972. Soon thereafter he became a founding member of the famed “Taos Six”.
Walt is a recipient of many prestigious awards, not the least of which are Bronze, Silver & Gold medal awards at the National Academy of Western Art in Oklahoma City, OK. His work is included in many Museum, corporate & private collections around the world.
Walt Gonske has been the subject of many feature articles in numerous publications such as Art of the West, 2010, 2005 & 1996, American Artist, 2003, Wildlife Art, 2002, Modern Art Impressionists, 1992, Southwest Art, 1985, and Contemporary Western Artist, 1982. His captivating paintings describing the beauty and charm of the multi-cultural region of northern New Mexico is the focus of his new book titled Walt Gonske “Paintings of the High Desert”.