Chugiak artist to receive Governor’s Award

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 07:02
  • Jon Van Zyle. (Photo by Jeff Schultz/

Chugiak’s Jon Van Zyle will receive the Individual Artist Award at the Governor’s Arts & Humanities Awards ceremony Thursday, Feb. 7 at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center in Juneau.

“Far removed from the stereotyped fantasies of the average tourist promoter, Jon Van Zyle actually explored the wilds that he paints so delightfully and, at 76, he’s still at it,” reads a press release announcing the honor. “With more than 40 books to his credit, published not only in English but four foreign languages, he has brought at least two million readers to Alaska. His record as an Iditarod finisher in 1976 and 1979, and as producer of official Iditarod posters since 1979, earned him a place in the Iditarod Hall of Fame.”

Van Zyle has been producing an average of 60-80 original works per year, according to the release. He’s one of nine Alaskans who will be honored at the February awards ceremony.

Other artists to be honored include Anchorage’s Bede Trantina (Distinguished Service in Community), Homer’s Nita Rearden (Arts Education), Unalakleet’s Laureli Ivanoff (Distinguished Service in Leadership), Sitka’s Shannon Haugland (Arts Advocacy), Fairbanks’ Maida Buckley (Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities), Seward’s Dot Bardarson (Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts) and Metlakatla’s Jack and John Hudson (Alaska Native Arts). Also honored will be the Anchorage-based Chugach Regional Resources Commission for Distinguished Service in Education.

To learn more about Van Zyle, visit his website at

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