James “Jim” Lavadour (Walla Walla) grew up in the foothills of the Blue Mountains on the Umatilla Reservation near Pendleton, Oregon. In 1992 Lavadour and friends founded Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, with the idea of using art as a transformative tool within the Native American community. Lavadour is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
Lavadour’s work is deeply rooted in the landscapes of eastern Oregon, where he has been making artwork for more than four decades. He drew his early inspiration from a wide variety of sources, from Romanticist painters such as Turner, to more kinetic processes such as those exemplified by Chinese ink painters. Long held in high esteem among the art world in the Pacific Northwest, Lavadour’s paintings have also been shown in numerous major institutions throughout the United States, with more national recognition building over the last ten years. Lavadour has exhibited at: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (in both Washington, DC and New York, NY); The Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, IN; Portland Art Museum in Portland, OR; the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ; and the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, NM among many others. Notably, Lavadour, with his Portland gallerist, Jane Beebe of PDX Contemporary, were invited to bring a large grid of 15 of his paintings to show in Personal Structures at the Palazzo Bembo in the 2013 Venice Biennale in Italy.