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 Curt Walters  (1950 - )

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Lived/Active: Arizona/New Mexico      Known for: western landscape painting, panoramic views

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BIOGRAPHY for Curt Walters
Facts/Data
Birth
1950 (Las Cruces, New Mexico)
 
Lived/Active
Arizona/New Mexico


Curt Walters


Often Known For
western landscape painting, panoramic views

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Painters of Grand Canyon
Western Painters
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted September 2004, is from Rycke Foreman, representative of the artist.

Curt 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.

At one 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.

Collections 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 Trailside Galleries:
Curt Walters, b 1950, Farmington, New Mexico (United States)

Many collectors around the world know American impressionist Curt Walters as one of the premier Grand Canyon artists. What is not commonly known is that Walters is also a rebel with a cause. Ten years ago, Walters decided to began donating original paintings and arranging artist fund raising trips for the Grand Canyon Trust, a conservation advocacy group. Walters has helped raise a half million dollars for his cause and is an honorary board member of the Grand Canyon Foundation, joining such dignitaries as Robert Redford and Senator John McCain. While the dynamic landscapes of New Mexico and Arizona have long dictated his preferred choice of subject matter, Walters 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.

Education
• New Mexico State University, 1969-1971
• Taos Art Colony, Apprentice
Selected Exhibitions
• Trailside Galleries, Art of the National Parks, Scottsdale, AZ, 2014
• Mesa Verde Foundation, Rims to Ruins, Denver, CO, 2013
• National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Prix de West, Oklahoma City, OK, 1998-2013
• Phoenix Art Museum, The West Select, Phoenix, AZ, 2011-2013
• Eiteljorg Museum, Quest for the West, Indianapolis, IN, 2006-2012
• National Museum of Wildlife Art, Western Visions Miniature Show, Jackson Hole, WY, 1998-2004, 2006-2012
• Gilcrease Museum of Art, Rendezvous, Tulsa, OK, 2011-2012
• Grand Canyon Celebration of the Arts, Grand Canyon, AZ, 2010-2012
• Salmagundi Club, American Masters, New York City, NY, 2009-2012
• Forbes Magazine Galleries, A Painting Journey to France and Spain: Moyers-Walters-Moyers, New York City, NY, 2011
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Los Angeles, CA, 1999-2005, 2008-2010
• Eiteljorg Museum, Monuments and Moments: The Plein Aire and Studio of Curt Walters, Indianapolis, IN, 2009
• Booth Western Art Museum, Painting the Canyon: Selected Works from Grand Canyon Collections, Cartersville, GA, 2009
• Salon d'Arts, Denver, CO, 2005
• Haggin Museum, Sea to Shining Sea, Stockton, CA, 2004
• Desert Caballeros Museum, Arizona Collects: Western Art, Wickenburg, AZ, 2004
• Forbes Magazine Galleries, Prix de West Artists Paint Trinchera, New York City, NY, 2004
• Flagstaff Center for the Arts, Trappings, Flagstaff, AZ, 2003
• Trailside Galleries, One Man Show, Scottsdale, AZ, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1994,1995, 2002
• Forbes Magazine Galleries, Grand Canyon Expressions, New York City, NY & Burlingame, CA, 2001
• Artists of America, Denver, CO, 1996-2001
• Kolb Studios, A Century of Grand Canyon Art, Grand Canyon, AZ, 2000
• Great American Artists, Cincinnati, OH, 1997-2000
• Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ, 1983, 1994
• Sedona Arts Center, The Grand Canyon, Pathways, Sedona, AZ, 1983, 1989
• The Rockwell Museum, Boundless Realism, Cornell, NY, 1987
• Mesa Southwest Museum, Capturing the Canyon, Mesa, AZ, 1987
• Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, AZ, 1983
• Taos Festival of Arts, Taos, NM, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979
• New Mexico State Capital Exhibition, 1973
Selected Press
• Western Art and Architecture, Shari Morrison, "Landscape Traditions", June/July 2013
• Sedona Monthly, Erika Ayn Finch,"Home is Where the Artist Is" ,March 2012
• Guidebook of Art: Art of the West, Tom Tierney, "Special Beauty: 2011", 2012
• Western Art Collector, Michelle Brogwardt, "Visions from France and Spain", December 2011
• Plein Air, "Recharging the Engine that Drives Success", Summer 2011
• Persimmon Hill, Lynda Haller, "Curt Walters-At Home in Red Rock Country", Autumn 2011
• Southwest Art, Cristin Hoerth, "40 Prominent People in the Western Art World", May 2011
• Persimmon Hill, Don Reeves, "Getting an Education at the Cowboy", Winter 2011
• Art of the West, "The Love Affair Continues", Jul/Aug 2011, "One on One", Nov/Dec 2011
• Nelson, Mary. "The Studio" Art of the West Sept/Oct 2010, 32-34.
• Workshop, "Curt Walters: Prepair to Paint a Complicated Subject", Winter 2009
• Western Art Collector, Jeff Donaldson, "Picturing a National Treasure", August 2009
• Southwest Art, Dussie Fauntleroy, "Limitless Possibilities", February 2008
• Western Art Collector, James H. Nottage, "Moments and Monuments: The Plein Air and Studio Paintings of Curt Walters, September, 2009
• Wildlife Art, Myrna Zanetell, "Curt Walters: Master of the Grand Canyon", Sept/Oct 2007
• Art of the West, Allen Duerr and Thomas Tierney, "Eight True Masters", Nov/Dec 2007
• Art-Talk, Rycke Foreman, "Curt Walters: Patient Prize Winner", June/July 2007
• Persimmon Hill, M.J. Van Deventer, "Curt Walters Wins the Prix de West Purchase Award" Summer 2007
• Southwest Art, Wolf Schneider, "My World: A Visit with Painter Curt Walters" October 2005
• Sedona Magazine, John Reid, "Plein Aire Painting: A New Buzz About an Old Tradition", Fall 2005
• Southwest Art, Lynn Pyne Davis, "Arizona Regionalist", September 2002
• The Artists Magazine, Lorraine Crouch, "Roping the West", November 2001
• Art of the West, "The Grand Adventure", Nov/Dec 2000
• American Artist, Kathleen Bryant, "Into the Heart of thhe Grand Canyon", 2000
• Art of the West, Shirley Behrens, "Glory of the Past, Beauty of the Present", April 1999
• American Artist, "On tour in Normandy", April 1998
• American Artist, Stephen Doherty, "Interpretations of the Colorado Landscape", January 1997
• Art of the West, Vicki Stavig, “The Glory of the American West” Nov/Dec 1997
• Southwest Art, James Jr. Bishop,“Curt Walters”, February 1997
• Phoenix Magazine, “Captured in the Colors”, June 1995
• Sedona Magazine, Hoyt Johnson, “Dear Readers”, Summer 1994
• American Artist, “Techniques of Impressionist Landscape Painting”, December 1991
• Phoenix Home and Garden, Nora Burba Trulsson, "Fine Art: Landscape Artist Curt Walters at Home", July 1992
• International Fine Art Collector, Senta Regis Pollard, "Curt Walters Four Seasons of Expressions", Dec/Jan 1992
• Focus Santa Fe, Nancy Ellis, "Like No Other Place on Earth" Jan-March 1990
• Art of the West, "Curt Walters: The Third Dimension”, May/June 1988
• Sedona Magazine, Sylvia Ruland, A New Freedom", Winter 1988
• Southwest Art, Budge Ruffner, "Curt Walters: The Immortal Dignity of Massive Stone", April 1982
• American Artist, Mary Carrol Nelson, “Curt Walters: Landscapes in the Realist Tradition” , June 1980
Selected Publications
• Fresco Fine Art Publications, LLC, Jean Stern, Susan Hallesten and Terry Lawson Dunn, Art of the National Parks, Albuquerque, NM, 2013
• North Light Books, Kathryn Ed Kipp, Art Journey America Landscapes, Cincinnati, OH, 2012
• Leanin' Tree Inc. Don Hedgpeth, Art and Enterprise in the American West, Boulder, CO, 2008
• San Diego Flora, James Lightner, Land of Sunlight: Contemporary Paintings of San Diego County, San Diego, CA, 2007
• Cinnamon Stone Publishing, Dottie Webster and Pamela Morris, A Window on Sedona, Sedons, AZ, 2000
• First Glance Books, Joni Kinsey, The Majesty of the Grand Canyon, Cobb, CA, 1998
• Northland Publishing, Donald Hagerty, Leading the West: One Hundred Contemporary Painters, Flagstaff, AZ, 1997
• Abbeville Press, Alan Axelrod, Art of the Golden West, New York City, NY, 1990
• Southwest Art Publishing, Peggy and Harold Samuels, Contemporary Western Artists, 1982
• Christine Mollring, Erivan and Helga Haub Family Collection of Western Art
Awards
• National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Frederick Remington Award, 2004, 2005, 2013
• National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Nona Jean Hulsey Buyer's Choice Award, 2007, 2011, 2013
• Eiteljorg Museum, Henry Farny Award, 2010, 2012
• Eiteljorg Museum, Patron's Choice Award, 2012
• Phoenix Art Museum, Best Oil Painting, 2011
• Phoenix Art Museum, Kieckhefer Best of Show Award, 2011
• Salmagundi Club, Patron's Choice Award, 2010
• Autry Museum of Western Heritage, James R. Parks Trustee's Purchase Award, 2008
• Eiteljorg Museum, Artist of Distinction Award, 2008
• Eiteljorg Museum, Victor Higgins Woork of Distinction Award, 2007
• Eiteljorg Museum, Buyer's Choice Award, 1998, 2002, 2007
• Prix de West, Prix de West Purchase Award, 2007
• Eiteljorg Museum, Best Overall Presentation Award, 2006
• National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Persimmon Hill Associates Purchase Award, 2006
• Grand Canyon Trust, Chosen to Paint Powell Award, 2003
• Masters of the American West, Patron's Choice Award, 1999
• Artists of Amerca, Patron's Choice Award, 1999
• Private Scholarship, John F. & Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship Award, 1977
Private & Public Collections
• Western Desert Caballeros Museum, Wickenburg, Arizona
• Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, Georgia
• Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma
• National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma
• Pierce Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas
• Erivan and Helga Haub
• Forbes Magazine Galleries, New York and Burlingame, California
• Grand Canyon National Park
• Kathie Lee Gifford
• Frank Borman
• Kareem Abdul Jabbar
• New Mexico State University, Farmington, New Mexico
• Leaning Tree Museum, Boulder, Colorado
• Citizen’s Bank, Farmington, New Mexico
• The Maytag Foundation

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 Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, VII:
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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