M. Alison

Born in February 1961, Mehrzad Alison is a Kansas-based artist and the proprietor of Prairie Hills Gallery. His artistic journey began with humble origins, ignited by the encouragement of his third-grade teacher. In his earliest artistic endeavors, he worked with pen and ink, drawing attention and admiration from teachers, family, and friends.

By the age of 13, his curiosity and determination led him to experiment with various drawing mediums. Lacking access to traditional tubes of oil paints, he resourcefully crafted his own by blending powdered pigments with linseed oil. Armed with self-fashioned paintbrushes, he heedlessly transformed any available surface, be it a wall or other alternative canvas, into his next attempt at his magnum opus. Even his mother's makeup sets and fabrics were not exempt from his artistic explorations.

While pursuing higher education in computer science at the University of Kansas, Mehrzad faced the challenge of balancing his academic pursuits with his artistic passion. His loving father, offering sage advice, cautioned him not to let painting overshadow his education.

In 1984, fate intervened when Mehrzad secured a position at Roy's Art Gallery, a prestigious establishment for local and regional artists. Here, he crossed paths with his mentor, Robert Sudlow. The gallery became a nurturing environment for his passion, igniting a profound appreciation for the Kansas landscape and propelling him into a career in art.

In 1987, with only twenty-five credit hours remaining to graduate as a computer programmer, Mehrzad made a courageous decision to leave the university and pursue his dream. With full-time attention now dedicated to his art career, M. Alison's journey began to flourish. It was during this pivotal time that he dedicated his artwork, both existing and yet to be created, to his ailing father, Ali, who was battling cancer. Mehrzad, whose legal last name is Zangeneh, adopted the name 'M. Alison' as a moniker for 'Mehrzad, Ali's son,' a heartfelt tribute that now graces all his artistic works. By 1996, he not only established himself as a professional artist but also assumed ownership of the very gallery where his professional journey began.

Today, with more than 40 years of experience, M. Alison's story is one of profound dedication and a lifelong pursuit of artistic expression. Specializing in Kansas landscapes, his artistic prowess shines through in his choice of mediums. His oil and acrylic paintings, often on large canvases, exhibit a remarkable blend of smooth, textured surfaces, and vibrant palettes that beautifully embody his boldness and the essence of the Midwest. 

Beyond his captivating landscapes, portrait painting holds a special place in his heart. With every brushstroke, he seeks to breathe life into his subjects, capturing their likeness, personality, and emotions. The result? Portraits that are not mere images but living, breathing moments frozen in time.

M. Alison's love for art extends beyond the canvas. He derives immense joy from sharing a lifetime of experience with others, serving as a painting instructor and encouraging new artists the way his childhood teacher had.

In 2016, he delved into a new realm, crafting exquisite Christmas ornaments and vases. These creations, akin to his paintings, serve as a testament to his steadfast dedication to exploring artistry in all its forms.

M. Alison's commitment to promoting visual arts, his personal journey from computer science to painting, and his enduring connection to the beauty of the Midwest make him a truly remarkable Kansas artist. Prairie Hills Gallery is not just a space for art but a testament to his unyielding passion, offering a glimpse into the soul of an artist who has left an indelible mark on the heartland.