|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following, submitted September 2004, is from Rycke Foreman, representative of the artist.|
Walters of Sedona, Arizona, is a plein-aire impressionist painter known
for his depictions of the Grand Canyon. Though his body of work
is largely comprised of the Southwestern vista, he enjoys painting
land- and cityscapes from all over the globe.
Walters has long
had an eye--and desire--for art. When he was 14, his sister was given a
paint set. "It took me about two minutes to steal it from her,"
he once quipped. From there, he took to copying the paintings on
the walls of their New Mexican farmhouse, and at the age of 15, sold
his first piece.
Four years later, the fledgling young artist
visited the Grand Canyon for the first time, and so began a lifelong
love affair. "I get the same feeling today as I did that first time,
thirty-five years ago."
Since then, Walters has focused much of
his time and energies on Grand Canyon ...but not only as an artist. In
the early '90's, the growing amount of air pollution over the gorge
(something unintentionally documented in his paintings) began to
concern Walters. Shortly thereafter, he learned of The Grand
Canyon Trust, and how they were fighting pollution throughout the
entire Colorado Plateau. Ten years and $500,000 later--much of
which has been collected from donated paintings--Walters is still eager
to meet new environmental challenges with the Trust. For all of
his hard work and dedication, he has received the honored position of
"Official Artist of The Grand Canyon Trust."
In 2002, The Grand
Canyon Foundation came knocking on Walters' door. Impressed by
his efforts with the Trust, President Deborah Tuck and the other board
members solicited his help. Concerned with the park itself, The
Grand Canyon Foundation works to preserve the wildlife, archaeological
and other historic structures, and also the artwork dedicated to Grand
Canyon, both modern pieces and those of past masters.
time, Walters did not consider himself the "protest type," but now, "I
think there's a part of me that could very much be a social activist in
my work." He goes on: "I think many artists throughout history have had
social agendas and political agendas within their work. I don't
think the great artists stopped and said, 'Let's just paint a pretty
picture.' I know I love using my paintings in ways that go beyond
just the act of painting."
Though near and dear to his heart,
the Grand Canyon alone does not limit Curt Walters' talent. He
often returns to Colorado and New Mexico--where he cut his artistic
teeth--for painting sojourns. For the 2004 Prix de West Art
Exhibition, Walters entered a 36" x 28" study of his childhood home,
entitled Mom's La Plata Garden. A second entry, Trinchera Summer,
is Walters' vision of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Southern
Colorado, as seen from the Forbes' Trinchera Ranch, where the artist
had organized a four-day "paint in" among a dozen of his Prix de West
contemporaries in 2003.
While his American travels have taken
him from Maine to Hawaii, Canada to Mexico, his overseas journeys have
taken Walters to some of the world's most exotic locations. Some
of his most popular foreign endeavors embody the bright, spirited
vibrancy of Bali, Indonesia and the venerable grace of Venice,
Italy. His most recent travels have lead his palette from the
Forbes' Chateau de Balleroy in Normandy, France, to Prague in the Czech
Republic, and the magnetic radiance of Budapest, Hungary to the
biblical sights of Jordan in the Middle East.
holding work by Curt Walters include the Forbes Magazine Galleries of
New York and California, The Maytag Foundation, astronaut Frank Borman,
the Pulliam Trust of Phoenix, Arizona, and San Juan College in
Farmington, New Mexico.
Each year, his artwork can be seen at
numerous showings, the most prominent of them being the Prix de West
Exhibition in Oklahoma City and the Masters of the American West at the
Autry Museum in Los Angeles. From these exhibitions, Walters has
received five medals in the past seven years, including the highly
coveted Frederic Remington Painting Award in June of 2004 and numerous
Buyers' Choice Awards.
|Biography from Claggett/Rey Gallery:|
|Although he has traveled and painted all over the world, including his most recent journey to the country of Jordan, impressionist artist Curt Walters has become the preeminent interpreter of one of the world's natural wonders, Arizona's Grand Canyon. |
Early on during his life's work at the Canyon, Walters became frustrated by the pollution build up and realized that his paintings, when viewed over the years, actually documented the deterioration of the air quality over 30 years.
This becomes the basis for a presentation which he has given for various community, government, philanthropic and conservation organizations throughout Arizona, the Colorado Plateau as well as Colorado, Oklahoma, California, Nevada and New York.
He has also been featured on the subject of his art and preservation of the Grand Canyon by the Associated Press (whose article appeared in 40 states), The Arizona Republic as well as selected cities from coast to coast, where Walters shows his work.
As an "ambassador" for Grand Canyon conservation, Walters has also been featured on CBS, NBC, public television and local TV affiliates in various cities.
More than just a spokesperson, Walters has donated his original paintings and images to help raise funds for the Flagstaff-based conservation advocacy group, The Grand Canyon Trust. During the past 10 years, Walters has helped to raise over one-half million dollars for the Trust's work.
Inviting 14 of his artist contemporaries, Walters created a river rafting, painting, fund-raising trip which resulted in the sale of the paintings at the prestigious Forbes Magazine Museum/Galleries in New York and California. Paintings from the trip raised over $100, 000 for the Trust, and created exposure for the cause of Grand Canyon conservation in the important New York and California markets.
In recognition for his lifelong efforts on behalf of Arizona's National Treasure, Walters was commissioned to paint the commemorative Grand Canyon painting for the 75th anniversary of Grand Canyon National Park. The painting, a 30"x 60" oil on canvas entitled "National Treasure," is on permanent display at the park.
Recently, Walters was recognized for his environmental preservation efforts and joined Senator John McCain as a board member of the Grand Canyon Foundation. He was also commissioned to create the award for the first John Wesley Powell Award which was presented to former Arizona Governor and U.S. Secretary of the Interior, the honorable Bruce Babbitt. The Grand Canyon Trust created the award to recognize significant achievement in Grand Canyon/Colorado Plateau conservation.
In 2002 Walters' 50" x 80" Grand Canyon painting entitled "Grandeur Besieged" won the Buyer's choice award at the Prix de West. He also won the Buyer's Choice award, at Prix de West, in 1998 for "Winter Grandeur Revealed," and in 1999 he won the Patron's Choice award at both Artists of America in Denver and at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles.
In August of 2003 Walters organized several Prix de West artists to paint at the Forbes Trinchera Ranch in Southern Colorado. That resulted in a show, hosted by Kip Forbes at the Forbes New York Galleries, as a benefit for the National Cowboy Museum.
Of Walters and the Grand Canyon, Art of the West Magazine said, "Curt Walters, who many consider the greatest living artist painting this natural wonder today."
|Biography from Trailside Galleries - WY:|
|The Grand Canyon is one of nature’s most spectacular
masterpieces. American impressionist Curt Walters has made it a
lifetime occupation not just to paint this Arizona icon, but to
preserve the pristine quality of this magnificent natural wonder. |
As an honorary board member of the Grand Canyon Foundation, he along
with other noted personalities and dignitaries have helped raise over
half a million dollars to preserve this national treasure. One of
these fundraising efforts, organized by Walters, was a river trip
through the Grand Canyon with a group of artists in 2000. The
artwork inspired by this trip raised $200,000 during two shows
sponsored by Forbes Magazine in New York City and San Francisco.
While the dynamic landscapes of New Mexico and Arizona have long
dictated his preferred choice of subject matter, Curt has also spent
nearly 30 years capturing his impressions of the world’s landscapes;
from Monet’s gardens at Giverny, to the magnificence of Florentine
architecture and the exotic temple gardens of Bali.
Curt Walters holds the rare distinction of having his paintings win
Buyers Choice awards in three of western art’s most prestigious shows,
all awarded within a nine month period; the Prix De West show in
Oklahoma City, the Artists of America show in Denver and the Gene Autry
Museum’s "Masters of the American West" show in Los Angeles. In
June 2002, he again won the Prix De West Buyer’s Choice Award.
Curt’s paintings are in prominent public collections including the
Malcolm Forbes Collection and the Maytag Foundation. Other
notable collectors include Merv Griffin, Mikail Baryshnikov, Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar and the late Robert Urich. His Grand Canyon National Park
commemorative work National Treasure has been recently reproduced on canvas by American Express for its International Masters Catalog of Fine Art.
|Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, II:|
|A realist oil painter of the Southwestern landscape, Curt Walters was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1950 and has been living in Sedona, Arizona since 1979. “My move to Sedona was due, in part, to its proximity to my favorites, the Grand Canyon and the Canyon de Chelly. The area is filled with many fine artists willing to shares their ideas with others. Sedona itself has proved to be a wonderland of color and subjects. I would recommend it to any artist as a great place to live and work.|
“I grew up in a farming community where the arts had little significance, but my father’s walls were hung with many fine paintings. Dad wanted me to follow him in dentistry, but never failed to support my desire to be an artist. In 1960, the family moved to a farm in the La Plata Valley. It was here that I began to develop my love of the majestic Southwestern landscape. In 1969, I started at the San Juan branch of New Mexico State University. Most of my tuition was paid by the sale of my paintings.
“In 1971, I struck out on my own as full time artist while still attending college. Deciding that practive was the best teacher, I didn’t return to classes that fall. My first big break came in 1972 when I began exhibiting at a gallery in Taos, and I moved to Taos in 1975. My main subject matter is landscape because I am comfortable with the solidity of nature and have a great reverence for its beauty. I consider myself to be a naturalist, painting subjects as my eyes perceive them and rearranging them to suit my compositional needs. To me, Western landscape is so massive and complicated that I feel it requires a large canvas to do it justice.”
Resource: "Contemporary Western Artists", by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.
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Curt Walters is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Painters of Grand Canyon