Vance A. Larson Biographical Information

Vance A. Larson, a prolific and world-renowned artist of cave and spirit paintings,
portraiture, and abstract expressionism, was born on June 15th 1951 in Lincoln, Nebraska to John Bertrand Larson and Shirley Glynn Lockwood.

During his youth his family lived in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, and later in Concord, Massachusetts and Manchester, Connecticut. It was in Concord that the family joined the historic First Parish and became Unitarian Universalists, an open spiritual outlook that influenced Vance profoundly throughout his life.


Vance studied at Paier School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut, and later at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He apprenticed under accomplished artists such as Lipp, Massaminno, Zeilenger, Finaro, and Stousenberger.


In his early career Vance was a charcoal and pastel portrait artist in New Orleans, Dallas, and Colorado, and became known as one of the best black and white portraitists in the Western U.S.

In 1980 Vance moved to Southern California and began painting dreamlike abstract pastels of soft yet vivid colors. Well-known works from that period include “Catch Your Dreams Like Thunder” and “Running As Free As The Wind.”

In 1995, Vance’s deep love and respect for aboriginal cultures led him to move to Cave Creek, Arizona, where he developed a style of unique cave and spirit paintings and ancient hunt scenes. Of the more well-known works from that period include his best-selling “Kokopelli Gold.”

During the course of his career Vance painted over 10,000 original works of art and won over 30 Best of Show awards in major art shows from Dallas to Beverly Hills. His paintings are displayed in prestigious office buildings and hotels, museums, and fine art galleries throughout the world.


A generous, cheerful, passionate and magnanimous man, Larson was often described as being “larger than life.” He was greatly beloved by many friends. On March 6th, 2010, a Remembrance Gathering in his honor was held at Harold’s Corral in Cave Creek, Arizona, his favorite hangout. This coincided with a Memorial Show of his art at the Thunderbird Art Festival in Carefree that same weekend. We hope to organize many future art shows in his honor.

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