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LibbyMt.com > News > July 2010 > 1950s Libby High School class reunion July 30-31

Barbara Brooks. Photo by Kootenai Valley Record.
Barbara Brooks

Kootenai Valley Record. Photo by Kootenai Valley Record.
Kootenai Valley Record
1950s Libby High School class reunion July 30-31
Classmates remember watercolor artist Barbara Brooks
by Kootenai Valley Record
July 29, 2010

A 1959 Libby High School graduate who went on to a successful career as a watercolor artist in Canada’s Jasper National Park will be honored by former classmates during this weekend’s all-1950s LHS class reunion.

The work of Barbara Brooks, who died last August at the age of 68, will be on display at Cabinet Mountain Furniture at 206 Mineral Ave. during the reunion. Remembered by friends as "flamboyant, easy, alive," "a very strong individual" and "a freethinking radical," Brooks studied art at Montana State University and English literature at the University of Washington before moving to an artist’s commune in Winnipeg in 1973 and settling in Jasper in 1976. She painted there for more than 20 years before suffering an aneurysm in 1998 that affected movement on her right side and left her in a wheelchair.

Brooks’ work focused on the natural magnificence of Jasper and can be found in many government buildings across Canada as well as in private collections around the world. From 1989 to 1995 she was the recipient of an annual grant to teach painting workshops in Jasper, and in 1993 she was the first Canadian artist to be invited for a solo exhibition in Seoul, South Korea. The following year she taught a cross-cultural outdoor painting course in Hokkaido, Japan.

Brooks was chosen as "Woman of the Year" by the Alberta provincial government’s Career Development Department in 1992, and she was featured on a "Dream/Dare/Do" poster designed to help young Canadians recognize the connection between educational a choices and occupational alternatives.

The Memorial Center will be open starting at 2 p.m. Friday as a meeting place for 1950s classmates, with a formal get-together starting at 7. There will be a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by a tour of the "new" high school at 11:30 a.m., and a banquet at 7 p.m. at the Memorial Center.

Additional events, including gatherings for individual classes, are scheduled throughout the weekend. For more information, see the class reunion page online at www.alphalibby.com.

Editor’s Note: See the July 27, 2010 edition of the Kootenai Valley Record for the printed version of this story. The Kootenai Valley Record publishes once a week, on Tuesdays, in Libby, Montana. They are a locally owned community newspaper, located at 403 Mineral Avenue in Libby. For in-county and out-of-county subscription information, call 406-293-2424, or e-mail kvrecord@gmail.com.

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