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Art is Jon’s life and Alaska, all 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 1049 miles of the 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 the official Iditarod artist, a title he still holds today. In 2004 he was inducted into the Iditarod Hall of Fame.
His acrylic paintings go beyond the race though, and encompass so much of the Alaskan beauty. Jon's reputation as a storyteller through his art is further enhanced by his 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. 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 300 editions in the last 30-plus years.
Jon and his wife Jona, also an artist, travel extensively, gathering material and experiences for their continuous production of works of art. The Van Zyle's 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.