Ladd Bjorneby was born and raised in Kalispell, Montana. Kalispell has been an art-oriented community for decades. His mother, a teacher, was a portrait artist and weaver and his father was a jeweler. A neighbor, June Isaacs, taught oil painting in her home. His godmother, Charlotte Ebeltoft, took him to her cabin often, where he learned to know forest plants and animals. Ladd studied watercolor under Karen Leigh at Flathead Valley Community College in 1976-77. At Pacific Lutheran University, he studied drawing under Dennis Cox, Walt Tomsic and Ernst Schwidder; and landscape painting under Jens Knudsen, graduating with a B.A. in Biology in 1980. After two quarters of graduate work at the University of Washington, he withdrew to enter seminary. In 1983, Ladd’s design was chosen in competition to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. He designed subsequent logos for the fiftieth anniversary of the Going-to-the-Sun Road and for Glacier’s seventy-fifth anniversary. His work has been shown in several Montana galleries from 1976 until 1986.
Retirement and a New Studio
On retirement from his work as a Lutheran pastor serving congregations, Ladd joined the artists’ co-op Avenue West Gallery. He moved to Liberty Lake, Washington, where he lives in a community on the Spokane River, and has a spacious studio upstairs. Painting is now a part of daily life and his work may be seen at Avenue West, as well as other venues and shows from time to time.