About the Artist, John McAlister

John McAlister was born in Shawnee Mission, Kansas in 1949. When he was five years old his family relocated to a home in the farmland of Lexington, Kentucky in the blue grass horse country. It was here that he learned to appreciate the beauty of country life. Throughout his life, John has always been fascinated by images and how the world is represented through the eyes of others with a special interest in Native Americans and their way of life. Medicine people of the Choctaw, Cheyenne, and Hopi taught John to live in the earth, not on it, and to live in time, not on time.

With this spiritual perspective he developed an appreciation for creativity in the arts, engineering, design, cooking and writing. After completing his Bachelors Degree in Art, Psychology and Math he pursued his MFA. It was during his graduate studies when he discovered the emotive power of the photographic image. John’s photo art is influenced by the breathtaking clarity of David Douglas Duncan, Mondrian’s simplicity of design, Ansel Adams composition, and André Naggar who taught him to photograph the dance, not the dancer.

John has been a photographer for over 30 years. He particularly enjoys creating art with his photography that encourages the viewer to participate in the photograph by stirring personal memories, desires and dreams. His photography seeks the connection of ordinary, often overlooked, images that surround us and define our experience outside of our awareness. Many of his images are surprisingly spiritual and haunting in their essence reminding us of our origins, ancient and modern.

His photography collection is global in scope from Africa, Australia, Europe and across the United States. Thematically he likes to quote J. R. R. Tolkien; “Not all those who wander are lost.” 

John is a retired executive of a Fortune 500 company, co-author of three books, a writer and publisher. He has practiced Native American spirituality since childhood, and taught storytelling, arts and the use of symbol and ritual in public schools, Arizona State University, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Monash University in Australia and the University of Presov, Slovakia.  John currently lives in Mesa, Arizona.