The Art of Iditarod

Jon Van Zyle's annual Iditarod Art Show is now at the Arctic Rose Gallery.

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by Stevie French

ANCHORAGE - Jon Van Zyle is the Official Iditarod Artist, a title he has held for the past 37 years. His annual Iditarod Art Show is now at the Arctic Rose Gallery.

His artwork showcases both the beauty of the Alaska wilderness and the bravery and strength of the Iditarod community -- something he knows well after competing twice.

"One of the reasons my art travels around the world is because I've been there", said Van Zyle. "I only know Alaska and that is what I paint".

The Iditarod posters were initially set up as a tool to market the race outside of Alaska but have since become a much celebrated collectors item.

"It's really a tradition", said Jana Latham, owner of the Artic Rose Gallery. "It's really a part of Iditarod".

Van Zyle's work is shown year round at the Arctic Rose Gallery in the Jon Van Zyle Retrospective Museum.

Aside from his art, Van Zyle's next project will be a book about the first 10 years of Iditarod as told by mushers, vets, volunteers and journalists.

Van Zyle's annual Iditarod showing will be at the Arctic Rose Gallery in downtown Anchorage until the end of March.

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