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James Lavadour

American and Umatilla, born 1951


Cayuse 1951

Occupation or Type


Northwest artist

Oregon artist


James Lavadour has lived on the Umatilla Reservation in northeastern Oregon, near Pendleton, for most of his life. In creating landscapes, the self-taught artist applies thin layers of mineral-colored paint, dry and wet, to wood panels and then rubs and scrapes to bring forth such images as rock faces engulfed in a rain squall or a sweeping brush fire. "My object has been to display the occurrence of landscape inherent in the act of painting," Lavadour has written. "In paint there is hydrology, erosion, mass gravity, mineral deposits, etc.; in me there is fire, energy, force, movement, dimension, and reflective awareness." Lavadour is the founder of Crow's Shadow Institute, a center for the economic and artistic advancement of tribal artists, on the Umatilla Reservation.

Artist biography reproduced with permission of Katharine Harmon, author of The Pacific Northwest Landscape: A Painted History.



Related People

Founder: Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts

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