2017 Viola Award Nominee for Excellence in the Visual Arts
Curt Walters: A Retrospective features more than 30 paintings, tracing his evolution as a landscape artist over the last 35 years. The exhibition includes never before exhibited works, on loan from collectors nationwide.
“Curt Walters is one of Arizona’s cultural icons, whose influence on artists cannot be overstated,” said Carrie M. Heinonen, MNA director and CEO. “We are thrilled to be honoring his work and legacy through our gala and retrospective.”
Declared the “Greatest Living Grand Canyon Artist” in 1997 by Art of the West magazine, Walters’ style is described as intensely realistic, while retaining a casual grace.
“He is an astute observer of light and atmospheric effects,” said Alan Petersen, MNA curator of Fine Arts. “He credits working en plein aire on the rim of the Grand Canyon with refining his sense of color and energizing his brushwork.”
Currently a Sedona resident, Curt Walters was born in New Mexico and raised in the Four Corners area of the state, where he acquired and developed his eye for dramatic landscapes. He attended Farmington High School and the San Juan Campus of New Mexico State University. In 1974, Walters moved to Taos, N.M. and began working and studying with artists of the central valley, including noted landscape painter Wilson Hurley.
In 1977, he won the prestigious John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship Award to further his artistic studies in the classical tradition of Western culture. As a result, he was contacted by Ted and Christine Mollring, owners of Trailside Galleries, who began exhibiting his work in both their Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Scottsdale galleries and received his first national media coverage in 1980 in American Artist magazine.
Over the next decade, Walters came into maturity as a landscape artist, transitioning from various styles and periods of experimentation into a plein aire focused approach. He has received numerous national accolades from Prix de West, West Select, Quest for the West, and Masters of the American West. In 2011, he was named one of the “Forty Prominent People in the Western Art World” by Southwest Art, and in 2014, Walters received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Desert Caballeros.