BARBARA LAVALLE - Anchorage, Alaska

Mural - Senior Prom - 2010

A happy Eskimo child hiding in the closet peeking out from under her mother's parka, a Native dancer moving to the century old music of a walrus drum, or a hot tub full of friends on a snowy winter evening are just a few of the images Barbara Lavallee has offered in her popular watercolors. Lavallee, a native of Davenport, Iowa, grew up in Wisconsin and received a degree in art from Illinois Wesleyan Univ. After teaching art in Arizona on a Navajo Indian Reservation, she took a position at Mount Edgecumbe Native School in Sitka, Alaska in 1970. Now living in Anchorage, Lavallee paints prolifically with many originals reproduced into limited edition prints. In addition, she has also become nationally known as an illustrator of children’s books. Her best known is, "Mama Do You Love Me?", for which she received the coveted 1991 Golden Kite Award for the Society Of Children's Book Writers for excellence in illustration. Lavallee is known for her happy people.  Lavallee is known for her happy people. People working, playing and living with smiles on their faces. Her watercolors portray whimsical, stylized characters in vibrant colors reflecting her interest in people. Lavallee can't imagine her life without painting. "I want people to have fun. If people look and smile, then I feel the art is a success."