Reading and book signing in Lemieux Library

Posted by Kristen Shuyler on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 9:39 AM PDT

Val Laigo’s Passion - A Book-reading by Barbara Evans and a Celebration of the Life & Work of Val Laigo, Artist and Seattle University Professor

May 21, 2008,  6 p.m. – 8 p.m.,  1st Floor Reading Room, A.A. Lemieux Library, Seattle University

Author Barbara Evans reads from her 2007 book, Val Laigo’s Passion.  The celebration will include comments and reminiscences from the family, a book-signing, and reception with refreshments.

Barbara Evans is the editor for the online PoetsWest, is an author of book reviews, and works as an editor for local authors.  PoetsWest is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that links poets with readers and listeners through the coordination of a variety of reading venues, providing a network for poets and poetry.  Ms Evans produces a weekly radio program of poetry, stories and music from the studios of KSER 90.7 FM in Everett, Washington.  

Filipino-American artist, Valeriano (Val) Laigo, 1930-1992, was an influential teacher, artist, and community activist who served as a faculty member in the Department of Fine Arts at Seattle University from 1965 to 1985.  While at SU, he designed courses for the Global Studies Project that explored the arts of non-Western cultures.  He organized the exhibit, "Many Colors" in 1970, and created and directed the Community Art Program, sponsored jointly with the city of Seattle in 1972.

Born in Naguilian, La Union, Philippines, Laigo came to Seattle when he was about 6 months old.  He graduated from O’Dea High School, received his B.A. from Seattle University, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Washington.  Prior to joining the SU faculty, he taught in area secondary schools, served as art director and staff artist for the Boeing Research Laboratories, and worked as an artist in the editorial department at the Post-Intelligencer.

His most significant work here at Seattle University is the large, three-panel mural commissioned in 1964 by university president Albert A. Lemieux , S.J., for Lemieux Library’s new Reading Room, built in 1966.  The 65-foot long mural explores themes of the existence of God, creation, and the relationship between God and Man.

Other public art works by Mr. Laigo include a mosaic mural for the Dr. Jose Rizal Park at 12th Avenue South and South Judkins Street, titled "East is West”, a mural for the Boeing Company, and a painting for Harborview Medical Center.  His work has been the subject of a 1995 retrospective at the Folklife Museum in Seattle Center, and a 1989 exhibit at the Wing Luke Asian Museum. Other exhibitions include museums, art and campus galleries in Mexico City, Los Angeles, Tucson, New York, Portland, Santa Barbara, Spokane, Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Auburn.

Laigo’s community activities included work with Filipino Catholic Youth, the Filipino Community of Seattle, Inc., the Seattle Youth Service Center, Filipino Youth Activities of Seattle, the Asian American Education Association, and the Filipino American National Historical Society.

Please join us in recognizing and celebrating the life, work, and influence of Val Laigo, an important artist and civic figure.

( A PDF version of the invitation is available by clicking here.)