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Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers to leave politics behind – for paint – FOX 10 News Phoenix


Departing Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers turns to true passion: painting

Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers is going from the capitol to the art gallery as he turns to his true passion: paint. FOX 10’s Lauren Clark reports.

PHOENIXWhen people think of Russell “Rusty” Bowers, they probably picture him in the Arizona House of Representatives.

“I’m currently a member and a speaker for a glorious, what, five more days?” Bowers said.

But at the core of his soul, as he thumbs through years of sketchbooks, it’s clear: Rusty Bowers is an artist.

“This was the first one I really had,” Bowers says, looking at a sketch. “You can see you’re planning out different colors and describing what we’re looking at.”

He’s a politician who has always felt the most alive while painting.

“You retreat into a zone,” Bowers said.

This isn’t a new hobby he’s now picking up for retirement. Instead, he’s spent decades as a professional artist, trained in watercolor, oil and sculpting.

“I couldn’t do it everyday, I was too busy,” the politician said. “So it was something I longed for.”

It’s a longing he’s planning to indulge in full time as he permanently puts down the speaker’s gavel and picking up the artist’s brush.

After years in the state House of Representatives, the seasoned politician made national headlines after pushing back on an attempt to overthrow the 2020 election.

He testified in front of the Jan. 6 committee and gained a 2022 JFK Profile in Courage Awared for the move, but its one he feels likely cost him his reelection.

Rusty Bowers testifies to Jan. 6 committee.

Rusty Bowers testifies to Jan. 6 committee.

“I lent my services to my district, but Mr. Trump and company turned me down,” Bowers said.

Now, as he moves into this new phase, he’s viewing it as a chance to create something beautiful.

“I like the geometry of man-made structures with nature,” said Bowers.

The Arizona Speaker of the House will be one of three artists featured at the Larsen Gallery with an opening reception planned for Thursday, Feb. 2. 

Bowers has also been commissioned to create a life-sized sculpture of the late John McCain.

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