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Meet Jon & Jona Van Zyle
Jon and Jona combine wonderful artistic ability with their love of dogs and Alaska to portray an incredibly intimate view of Iditarod and all things Alaskan.
After running his first Iditarod in 1976 Jon became an early supporter of the race through donation of his art. From his adventures in two Iditarods, Jon has created the yearly Iditarod poster series. In 1979 Jon was named official Iditarod artist, a title he still holds today.
In the early years, Iditarod received minimal media coverage. The importance of the first poster in 1977 was its success as a large-scale marketing item for the Iditarod; it opened the door for future fundraising products and it brought attention to the race. For curious race fans and mushers with a dream, the poster art brought the race trail to life.
Jon's art career has spanned over 30 years. A prolific artist, he produces numerous paintings a year for one man exhibition in the United States as well as Europe. In addition to his Alaska art, Jon illustrates at least two children's books a year. His limited edition prints and posters sell out regularly with well over 200 editions in the last 25 years.
Jona's longtime love of wildlife and sled dogs has greatly influenced all the facets of her art and life. Although born in Ohio, she has always been an Alaskan at heart, and a full time resident since 1998.
With over 20 years experience working with huskies, she has written and illustrated many articles about dog history and training for such publications as Mushing Magazine. Lately Jona has enjoyed working with leather and beads. Her art is available in European and Alaskan galleries.
In 1999 Jona's textile works were exhibited in Alaska's prestigious Earth, Fire and Fiber competition. Her Dog Trainer's Jacket and Mukluks won a juror's award and toured the state.
Jona's Raven design was chosen as the 2000 Anchorage Fur Rendezvous logo. She worked with Jon to co-design the 1999-2002 Junior Iditarod Race logos and designed the 2003 and 2004 logos. Jona designed the Official 2004 Iditarod Race Cachet.
Jon and Jona live near Eagle River, Alaska with their kennel of happy huskies.
To learn more abut Jon and Jona please visit their web site at www.jonvanzyle.com
For more information about Ellie and her home at Ultima Thule Lodge you can visit their web site at www.ultimathulelodge.com
More information about Ellie Claus can be found on the Iditarod web site www.iditarod.com
©2004 Jon & Jona Van Zyle
All material in the Iditarod Sketch Pad remain the property of Jon & Jona Van Zyle and may not be reproduced in any manner.