Featured Artist: Bruce Aiken
It has been said that artists create their own autobiography. The 400 images of the Grand Canyon forged by renowned artist Bruce Aiken reveal an alert curiosity and a reverence for the rocks, the vegetation, and the spaces of the spectacular living sculpture that captivated him when he arrived in Arizona in 1970. Born in New York City, he was classically trained at the School of Visual Arts before he headed out west. By 1973, Aiken was working for the National Park Service and living in Roaring Springs, a settlement over five miles below the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. As a park service employee he oversaw the production of the public water supply. As a husband and father he raised his family to the timeless rhythms within the canyon walls. As an artist, he sketched and studied the canyon relentlessly, amassing knowledge of geology and botany before ever picking up a brush.
Once he did, though, his explorations of the canyon through paintings, drawings, pastels, and other forms of creative media were appreciated around the world. He has created special commissions for the White House and NASA, and been featured on the History Channel, the Disney Channel, ABC Good Morning America, CBS 48 Hours, NPR, People Magazine, and National Geographic Magazine. In 2007 he published the award-winning coffee-table book, “Bruce Aiken’s Grand Canyon – An Intimate Affair.” A retrospective of his works hung at the Museum of Northern Arizona in 2011.
Aiken now lives and works in downtown Flagstaff with his wife, Mary. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Flagstaff Cultural Partners and is Chairman of the Flagstaff Beautification and Public Arts Commission.