Contributed by Janet St. George
March in Alaska brings all eyes to Iditarod! Many fans will make the trek to Willow for the Iditarod Re-Start, Sunday, March 5th, for all the fun and excitement that it encompasses.
Don’t miss out on everyone’s favorite stop inside the Willow Community Center at Town Square Art Gallery’s booth to meet the Official Iditarod Artist, Jon Van Zyle. He will be signing his new 2017 Iditarod print, “Three Dog Night” and 2017 poster “For Those Left Behind”. Also available are children’s books that Jon illustrated and two new book releases: “Jon Van Zyle, My Colorful Life of Art and Adventure” and “Iditarod Memories, 40th Anniversary Edition of Official Race Art.”
Art is Jon Van Zyle’s life, and Alaska has been his inspiration. Van Zyle has seen more of Alaska than most can ever hope to experience. He has twice completed the 1,094 miles of the Iditarod Trail in the yearly sled dog race between Anchorage and Nome. 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.
Jon’s art career has spanned over forty years. As 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.
Van Zyle studied art in Colorado. Born in the Midwest, he lived in the East, the Northwest and Hawaii before making Alaska his home in 1971. Van Zyle and his wife, Jona, travel Alaska extensively, gathering material and experiences for new works of art. They now live near Eagle River, Alaska where they maintain a dog team of registered Siberian Huskies. Both inspirational and functional, the dogs play a large part in Jon’s work, as does the secluded atmosphere of the woods surrounding his studio and home.
UPDATE: “The Show Must Go On!”
Friday, February 10th, The Iditarod Board of Directors moved the Iditarod Re-Start to Fairbanks due to impassable trail conditions in the Alaska Range. There will be no Re-Start in Willow and therefore, no Iditarod show featuring Jon Van Zyle that day in Willow.
However, Town Square Art Gallery will reschedule a show very soon with Jon for all of our local race enthusiasts! Please follow us on Facebook, call us at 907-376-0123, sign up for our monthly newsletter, visit www.townsquareartgallery.com or stop in for details regarding Jon’s signing and show. Jon’s books and artwork, including his new signed 2017 Iditarod prints and posters are currently available at Town Square Art Gallery. Jon will be the featured artist for the month of March, so please stop in and enjoy the spirit of “The Last Great Race!”
Town Square Art Gallery has represented Jon’s artwork and books since 1988 and features an extensive collection of rare prints and posters. Town Square Art Gallery is located in the Carrs Wasilla Mall, open Mon-Fri 10-6 and Sat 10-5. The new Iditarod prints and posters are available now and make a great Iditarod memory especially when personalized by Jon or signed by your favorite musher! For more information, stop by Town Square, call 907-376-0123, follow Town Square on Facebook or visit www.townsquareartgallery.com.