2016 Logging & Heritage Festival Parade Grand Marshal
UW – Marinette Professor Emeritus James LaMalfa
Every year, the Logging and Heritage Festival Parade honors an individual who exhibits service to the City of Marinette and the surrounding community. A Grand Marshall is nominated by members of the Logging & Heritage Festival Volunteer Committee. This year, our Grand Marshal James LaMalfa will be honored on Parade Day, Sunday, July 10th at noon by leading the parade, starting at the Kimberly Clark parking lot by Riverside Avenue and ending at the Stephenson Public Library on Hall Avenue.
James LaMalfa is the grandson of Italian immigrants and was born in 1937 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The son of a civil engineer and a “very creative” and puppeteering stay-at-home mother, Jim grew up with two other brothers. Art was a draw for the young LaMalfa and by the time he was ten years old, Jim was taking water-color classes at the Milwaukee Art Center. “I was always interested in art, I guess I got it from my mom, she could draw with both hands!”
Time flew by and Jim graduated from the University of Madison with a Bachelor of Science in Art (1960) and received a Master’s in Art (1961) and a Master’s in Fine Art (1962) from the UW-Madison. Armed with talent, educational degrees and a love of teaching art, Jim went on to instruct at UW-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio and at UW-Marinette, Marinette, Wisconsin (1969-2013), he became Associate Professor. In December 2013, Jim retired from UW-Marinette, achieving “Emeritus” status (having retired but allowed to retain his title as an honor). During his teaching years, Jim also became the father of four children, Larry (age 50), Brenda (age 45), Tony (age 28) and Leah (age 25), and says, “They are all talented…Grandma would be happy.
Jim has created several public outdoor sculptures that are commissioned. These sculptures are located at UW-Eau Claire, UW-Sheboygan, NWTC in Marinette and Green Bay, UW-Marinette, the City of Marinette with “Great Wave”, religious pieces in Marinette as well as indoor pieces and collaborations in the works with area businesses. Along with commissioned work, Jim has donated much time to the beautification of Marinette and Menominee.
Art is not Jim’s only interest. With the energy a twenty-year old possesses, don’t let his relaxed demeanor fool you, he’s always creating. A photographer, an avid aviation pilot and aviation photo journalist, Jim covers the EAA in Oshkosh and supplies photos and copy for the journals, Midwest Flyer and World Airnews Magazine. Menominee also benefits from the talented artist. The sculpture, “Swimming Against The Wind” stands along the bay of Green Bay and a mural, “1941” is in Menominee City Hall (on Marinette’s side, we have the “Peninsula 400” mural). An active member and Secretary to the Menominee Area Arts Council (MAAC), Jim maintains his passion for art and takes classes on whatever peaks his curiosity at the UW-Marinette.
A City of Marinette Alderman for 28 years and serving seven mayors, Jim continues to serve his community as a 12-year citizen member of the Marinette Historic Preservation Commission, recalling his wish to save the old Marinette railroad station, due to his interest in trains and historic landmarks. “I will continue to volunteer for the City.” And volunteer, he does.