James Lavadour continues to be one of the Northwest’s most revered painters, widely recognized for his captivating abstract landscapes, often interpreted from and inspired by the geography of his lifelong home on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Self-educated in art, Lavadour often has described the artistic process by which he came to recognize the gestures of painting and art creation as their own acts of nature, akin to those that formed the kind of landscapes his works represent. Lavadour helped establish Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts as a reservation-based nonprofit organization in 1992.
Lavadour is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art in 2005, Award for Visual Arts from the Flintridge Foundation in 2004, Oregon Governor's Arts Award in 1994 and the Betty Bowen Award in 1991. He also is the founder of Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts.