<font color="#808080">VAN ZYLE, Jon</font>

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JON VAN ZYLE
(
1942 - )

Art is his life and Alaska, all of Alaska, has been his inspiration. Artist Jon Van Zyle has seen more of Alaska in a much more unique way than most can ever hope to experience. Jon has twice completed the 1,049 miles of Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race between Anchorage and Nome. From these adventures he has created the yearly Iditarod poster series commemorating the race and his involvement. In 1979 he was made official Iditarod artist, a title he still holds today. In 2004, Jon was inducted into the Iditarod Hall of Fame.

His acrylic paintings go beyond the race though, and encompass so much of the Alaska beauty. Jon's reputation as a storyteller through his art is further enhanced by his art prints, posters and stone lithographs. Dog teams, landscapes, wildlife, Alaskan faces from native to newcomer, portray an intimacy with the land and its people. He touches on history with studies of Alaskan pioneers and native traditions and lore recording the Alaskan spirit. Public acceptance of his shared feeling through his art has been his greatest reward.

Jon's art career has spanned over 3 decades. A prolific artist, he produces numerous paintings a year for one man exhibitions in the United States as well as Europe. Illustrating at least two children's books a year since 1993 for prestigious publishers has earned him a reputation with a younger audience as well as many awards for his children's art. His limited edition prints and posters sell out regularly with well over 200 editions in the last 25 years.

Jon and his wife Jona, also an artist, travel extensively, gathering material and experiences for the continuous production of works of art. The Van Zyles live near Eagle River where they raise and train Siberian Huskies. Both inspirational and functional, the dogs play a large part in their lives together. Jon and Jona will be the Artist in Residence in Denali National Park in 2004. They are the first couple to ever be invited.

Honors include official Iditarod artist; invited artist National Art Exhibition of Alaskan Wildlife (Audubon Society) 1986 and 1987 and show judge in 1988; invited artist Alaska's Artists, Capital Rotunda in Washington, D.C. 1983; invited artist Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington 1983, 1986, 1989 and 1994, official artist Committee for Cooperation, Commerce and Peace, Alaska Siberia Friendship Flight #1. Artist of the year, Milwaukee Sports/Wildlife Show 1991. Invited artist to the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson Bird in Art Show 1990. Organizer, race judge and official artist for Hope 91, first inter-continental international sled dog race from Nome, Alaska to Anadyr, Chukotka Region, USSR. Featured artist, Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Show, Tacoma, Washington 1990, 1992 and 1997. Official artist, International Federation of Sleddog Sports. 1999 Benjamin Franklin Award. Invited artist "Wild in de Natuur" Euschede, Holland 1999. Invited artist Deutsches Rontgen Museum, Remscheid, Germany 2001.

A book of his art and life The Best of Alaska the art of Jon Van Zyle was published in 1990 and reprinted through 1995. In 1998 Jon Zyle's Alaskan Sketchbook was published taking the reader through an artistic year of his life and has been reprinted many times. Iditarod Memories, a book celebrating his 25 years of official Iditarod posters, was published in 2001. A video was produced of his art career and family life by public television in 1991. Lenox Collections began producing collector plates, porcelain mugs and music boxes in 1991. A variety of other gift products are produced by various firms for the national and international markets.

A few of the award winning children's books include, The Eyes of Gray Wolf, Caribou journey, Disappearing Lake, Raven and River, Lewis and Papa, River of Life, Gone Again Ptarmigan., Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights, etc. Jon has illustrated over 25 children's and adult's books.














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