Memorial to Joseph LaPierre

We are all so saddened to have lost our dear, talented friend, Joe. I never saw Joe without a smile on his face which indicated his happy, too-short life. I have many of his beautiful paintings and cherish each and every one of them — I get so many compliments on their beauty from friends who visit. There’ll never be another one like Joe, and we are proud and privileged to have been associated with him, Melody, Jesse and Sarah for many years. May God bless them and comfort them in the days to follow. Joe will always be in our hearts and prayers.

Vida Burger, Roger and Ron Burger, Jane and Dave Dew.

Local artist Joe LaPierre, beloved husband, father, musician, friend of many, was suddenly taken home to meet his Lord on Tuesday, August 4th, 2009. Joseph was well known in many circles of life, loved and respected in all of them.

He and his wife, Melody, have lived in Palm Beach County since 1980, and became residents of Palm Beach Gardens in 1989 after their son Jesse was born, soon to be followed by their daughter Sarah.

Joe gave to his community in a multitude of ways. His paintings can be found in many homes and offices locally and across the state of Florida, as well as up and down the east coast of the United States and dispersed to a variety of national and international locations. He felt privileged to be able to provide for his family by doing something that he loved…….painting.

His paintings were like him, larger than life, bright, and uplifting in nature. As do many artists, he tried a variety of venues over the years, but found his niche with a palette knife, which remained his primary tool for the past twenty-plus years. He created thick textured paintings that, while loose in style by the nature of the knife, were scenes that were easily recognizable and readily enjoyed.

Joseph supported his community. He was always ready to contribute his artwork to help local organizations, including the fundraising causes of the Loxahatchee River Historical Society and Jupiter Lighthouse, Artigras, Sunfest, and Celebrities Fore Kids. He also gave artwork to many other schools, churches, and clubs to help in raising money to promote their charity or to support teaching art to students. He would do demonstrations, teaching as he painted, and also gave his “Art Festivals 101” class to artists just starting out, giving them instructions and helpful hints based on his wealth of experience gained over the years of finding how to successfully sell his paintings at art festivals and galleries.

He was honored to be selected as the poster artist for several prominent art festivals such as Artigras, Artfest by the Sea, Hobe Sound Festival of the Arts, and several times for the Venice Arts Festival. He always had fun creating something that he thought was appropriate for the event and yet expressive of his style.

Joe was a recognized musician before he took to painting full time, know by many in the area for his role as singer/composer in the “Mike’s Towing Band”. The group performed locally in the early 80’s and had a following that continues to this day, even though the last official performance was long ago.

In addition to paintings that can be valued and enjoyed for generations to come by those who are fortunate enough to own them, Joe’s legacy is one of integrity, encouragement and enthusiasm. His children, Jesse and Sarah, were his pride and joy, and though he gave without reservation to many, his first priority was his family. He
regarded his children as his greatest legacy.

Thank you to those who knew him for your expressions of kindness and love for him (and his family..we were a team effort, you know). Please feel free to share your memories with us, as there were many folks whose lives he touched without announcing it to anyone. It was just his way. His Facebook page will be kept active and his website will be updated from time to time as we continue to carry on with our lives and make decisions in the days ahead. His last collection of available paintings is on hold at this time, and may be made available when the timing seems right. We, his family, know that his memory will be kept alive as people continue to enjoy his paintings and recall their memories of Joe.

Though we feel an incredible void without him and will miss his expertise in so many areas, we are thankful for the time we were granted with him as husband, father, and friend. We are also thankful that since it was apparently his time to go, he went quickly and did not have to suffer.

A memorial service is being planned for Joe. When the date and location have been arranged, it will be posted on his website, Facebook page, and other venues to let any who wish to attend know the details. Many people have asked what they can contribute in lieu of flowers or other memorials in honor of Joe’s memory. We ask only for your prayers for strength and peace for us in the days ahead and that if you have special memories of Joe, you share them with us. If you feel a need to make a contribution, we are certain that Joe would prefer that you direct it to his greatest legacy, his children, who were more dear to his heart than any other charity. Providing for their future would have remained his focus were he still alive and painting today. Memorial gifts thus directed will be transferred to an account set up for use in future needs of Jesse and Sarah, one of whom is already in college, while the other is about to begin that adventure.

Such memorial gifts can be directed to:
Melody LaPierre
669 Holly Drive
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

“Joseph, we celebrate your ‘joie de vivre’, and look forward to seeing you in eternity.”
Love, Melody, Jesse, and Sarah

May God grant us all strength in our individual challenges.

It is with deep sadness that I inform you that on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 at 8:00pm, artist Joseph LaPierre passed away.

Joe LaPierre was an incredible artist who was truly dedicated to giving back and making a difference in his community. He participated in ArtiGras for more than 20 years and was always helping us to improve our show and mentor others. Joe donated several original paintings to ArtiGras to auction off to raise funds for local school art programs. He also helped mentor all of the artists in the ArtiGras Emerging Artist Program, many of whom are now pursuing their dreams of making a career in the art show industry. We were very privileged that last year Joe created the original artwork for the ArtiGras 2009 Commemorative Poster, ?An Artist?s Life? ? a print symbolic of everything that was important to him. Joe always said, ?To be an artist is to always be learning.? Through his donations of time and knowledge, he taught many aspiring artists who will always remember his great example of giving back to your community.

Joe leaves behind his wife Melody and children, Jesse and Sarah. Joe?s business was a family business and his wife and children were always working art shows with him. Please keep his family in your prayers during this difficult time.

I am honored that Melody has asked that we help plan a memorial for Joe in late August. As soon as we have the date, time and location confirmed I will let you know. For more information on Joe and his work, you can visit his website at

Suzanne Neve
the ArtiGras Art Show
Director of Programs and Services
Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce

Memorials posted here on the NAIA site and Member Forum.

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