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The art of Arizona trailblazers featured at Scottsdale Larsen Gallery

Photo of exterior of The Larsen Gallery in Old Town Scottsdale
A view of an Old Town Scottsdale thoroughfare leading into Arts District. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/DigitalFreePress.com)
Larsen Gallery welcome art of ‘Rusty’ Bowers, Fritz Scholder & Ahmed Cannon
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

In February 2023, The Larsen Gallery in Old Town Scottsdale is exhibiting works by Native American artist Fritz Scholder, outgoing Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, and artist Ahmed J. Cannon.

An opening reception is from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Larsen Gallery, 3705 N. Bishop Lane in Scottsdale. Those interested in attending must RSVP to RSVP@LarsenGallery.com.

Russell ‘Rusty’ Bowers

Russell “Rusty” Bowers has spent decades as a professional artist. He is a classically trained artist specializing in watercolor, oil painting and sculpting. Now free of the demands and constraints of politics, he says, Mr. Bowers is focusing on this decade’s long passion. A lifelong political conservative, his decision to affirm the results of the 2020 presidential election and defend those actions before the U.S. Congress earned him a John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award in 2022, according to a press release.

Fritz Scholder

Mr. Scholder’s work continues to draw international acclaim nearly two decades after his death. His art is featured yearly at the Larsen Gallery. Primarily based in Arizona during his lifetime, his paintings have helped redefine Native American art while shattering stereotypes.

Mr. Scholder’s art has been the topic of more than a dozen books and two PBS documentaries. His art is in the permanent collections of numerous major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Ahmed J. Cannon

Mr. Cannon was born in Chicago. He trained in and is currently based in Scottsdale. Cannon specializes in realistic oil portraits. His series The Jazz Men includes portraits of Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock and Arizona’s Doc Jones.

A large portion of the sales from Mr. Cannon’s work will benefit the Molina School of Jazz, a local charity that provides music education for children. Doc Jones serves as its executive director.

The exhibition for all three artists will run from Feb. 2 through the entire month of February to coincide with Black History Month, representatives of the gallery say.

“We are a Scottsdale-based auction and gallery with deep Arizona ties,” said Larsen Gallery owner Scott Larsen said in a prepared statement. “It is an honor to showcase works of art from such a diverse trio of artists. Their backgrounds and life stories are as divergent as the works they create, yet they still share Arizona roots that impact their art and countless artists who have spent time in our great state. The art is compelling, original and trailblazing.”

Polly Larsen, owner of The Larsen Gallery, echoed a similar sentiment.

“Artists such as the ones featured in this exhibit help affirm Arizona’s prominence in the art world as well as paving the way for future artists in our great state,” she said.

Mr. Bowers says he is ready for the change of pace.

“From the halls of the Arizona Capitol and national controversy to the walls of a Scottsdale gallery, I couldn’t be more excited and nervous to exhibit my art for the first time alongside these other artists,” Mr. Bowers said.

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