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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.