Artists >> Jon VanZyle
Art is his life in Alaska, and all of Alaska has been his inspiration. Artist Jon Van Zyle has seen more 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 posters series commemorating the race and his involvement every year. In 1979 he was made Iditarod artist, a title he still holds today.
His acrylic paintings go beyond the race, though, and encompass so much of Alaska's beauty. Jon's reputation as a storyteller through his art is further enhanced by his art originals, 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 Alaska pioneers and Native traditions and lore recording the Alaska spirit. Public acceptance of his shared feeling through his art has been his greatest reward. Jon was inducted into the Iditarod Hall of Fame in 2004.
Jon and his wife, Jona, travel extensively, gathering material and experiences for the continuous production of art. Jona's artwork include hand-beaded leather accessories including purses and gloves.
They have a kennel of twenty Siberian Huskies and a black cat named Dickens. Making their home in Eagle River, Alaska allows Jon and Jona the space to themselves in art and nature. Both inspirational and functional, the dogs play a large part in Jon and Jona's work and everyday life.