Lois learned to fly and trained to be an airline mechanic in Clark County. Lois was a bush pilot in Alaska, and received her aviators "wheel rating" and learned to "dope and fabric" old aircraft from Clark County's Wally Olson. Ms Thadei 'commuted' between Ketchikan, Alaska and Vancouver, Washington through Seattle via pontoon plane to learn these skills from Wally Olson.
Lois Chichinoff Thadei is Aleut, born into a Tlingit and Haida community in Southeast Alaska, and an original voting shareholder in Sealaska Corporation (Juneau). She is a part of the fourth generation of Aleut artists displaced from the now - depopulated community on Unga Island in the Aleutian Chain.
Chichinoff Thadei's family is full of artists: her father, Louis Thadei, Jr., was a self-taught collagist; her aunt, Johanna Chichinoff Paddock Snyder, was a designer and skin sewer; her brother-Fred Lauth-is a cedar carver.
Lois' work is dependent on the seasonal cycles and makes use of seasonal materials. Lois' weaving, painting, prints, glass art, and jewelry will be on display and available for sale at the Bookstore in the Visitor Center.
Click here to read the text of a 2010 radio interview with Lois Thadei by KUOW FM Seattle.