Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG - 8/29/2006 - Dixie Laval has made a distinguished career of recording moments of history in photographic images, as well as sharing her technical skills with others. A permanent collection representative of the Raytown photographer's lifetime portfolio of work now resides in UCM's James C. Kirkpatrick Library, allowing Laval to share her lifelong passion with UCM's photography students.
Significant Contribution to Photography Program
The collection was accepted by Photography Area in UCM's School of Technology and housed by the library. Janet Bonsall, professor of photography, said the collection is a significant contribution to the university and the School of Technology.
Student Can Examine Original Prints
"This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to experience and examine original prints,' Bonsall said. 'As we move into a digital world and rely on the digital image, students often only experience the work of the great photographers only through a computer monitor or published materials. This collection allows them to experience the textural and aesthetic value of original photographic prints while studying the style of renowned photographers."
Collection Accepted upon Invitation, Available to Students
The Laval Collection is the first professional collection to be accepted upon invitation by the department. Mollie Dinwiddie, dean of library services, said the collection will be made available to photography students upon request. A total of 26 pieces of Laval’s collection are housed in the library’s Special Collections area.
Varied Career Includes Studio Work, Instruction
Laval began her careers as an artist in the late 1940s with Leo Stern Studios in Kansas City. She opened her own studio in Raytown, Mo., in the late 1960s, and later worked as a supervisor and laboratory consultant for Meisel Photochrome, Custom Color Corp. and McDonald International. She also taught in a variety of venues, developing several educational aids.
Achieved Master Photographer Designation
Laval received the designation of Master Photographer in 1984 from the Professional Photographers of America. She served as president of the Greater Kansas City chapter of the Professional Photographers of America in 1976, as well as president of the Missouri Professional Photographers of America from 1994 to 1996.
Named Fellow of the American Society of Photographers
She was named to the PPA Print Exhibition Committee Juror's List in 1987, and has earned the Missouri and Heart of American National PPA Awards for meritorious contributions to professional photography. In 2003, she was named a Fellow by the American Society of Photographers.
Laval is recognized for her window light studies and animal portraiture, and her work is still featured in national advertising. She remains active as an artist through artwork, restorations, lectures, judging and the occasional studio session.
Master Photographer Dixie Laval, second from left, presented a collection of her