Born in Phoenix, Michael LaCapa moved to Whiteriver, Arizona, on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation at the age of 1. He was the second of eight children with ethnic roots from the Hopi, Tewa, and Apache Tribes. Lacapa’s boyhood passion for art was “fine tuned” after earning a bachelor’s degree in secondary art education from Arizona State University and graduate studies in printmaking from Northern Arizona University.
Lacapa was well known for authoring and illustrating many children’s books. He was also nationally recognized for his Native American storytelling. He said: “I think that every picture must have a story. Every painting must tell, share, move or excite us to words. It is the job of artist to create that reaction.” When he was a child, Lacapa achieved his childhood wish, when he would sit and hope that someday he could paint and draw all day long. As an adult, he painted images of places and people that were a part of his life. He used color and designs to define the story.