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Home > Our City > Buffalo My City > Biography - Dr. V. Roger Lalli

Biography - Dr. V. Roger Lalli


Born on May 27, 1922 in South Buffalo, Dr. Lalli began his studies in Public School 82, before attending Kensington High School. Upon graduation, he was awarded the John Sattler Scholarship to the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy (also known as the Albright Art School).

At the Academy, he received top honors and earned the coveted Isabelle Ross Award for excellence in drawing.  That honor was given for his charcoal rendering of Michelangelo's sculpture of Duke Giuliano.  In 1943, he earned a diploma in commercial illustration.

Dr. Lalli went on to earn multiple degrees in secondary education:  a B.S. from the University at Buffalo in 1950, an M.S. from Buffalo State Teachers' College (now the State University College at Buffalo), and a Ph.D. from Commonwealth University in Los Angeles.

Dr. Lalli enjoyed a lengthy teaching career in the Buffalo School system as well as Rosary Hill College (now Daemen College) and Canisius College before joining the staff at Amherst Central Schools where he taught for 23 years before retiring.  While excelling in his calling as teacher and mentor, he was widely recognized for his efforts by being named Amherst Teacher of the Year, as well as runner-up for the comparable New York State award.  At the same time, Dr. Lalli wrote Intermediate Perspective, a secondary textbook, which was selected for the Scholarly Works Listing, and was also adopted by both the Chicago and New York City Boards of Education for use in their schools.

Upon retirement, the artist kept busy for much of the following ten years by restoring several older houses and also did freelance work as a medical illustrator for private physicians.

In 1989, Dr. Lalli decided he could best express his admiration and love for his hometown by painting a series of watercolors devoted to architectural scenes that characterized his city.  In this year he began his first painting, which evolved into a 10 year endeavor that produced 42 paintings which complete the watercolor collection, Buffalo My City.

While Dr. Lalli was in his third year of his Buffalo My City project, and halfway through the series of paintings, he was invited to exhibit his unfinished collection at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.  The exhibit ran for six weeks in 1992, and opened to a standing-room only crowd.  Most recently, Dr. Lalli's collection has been on display at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Buffalo.  Reproductions of some of the paintings have also been offered in galleries around the United States and in Europe.

In 2002, Dr. Lalli wrote THE BUFFALO ARCHITECTURAL WATERCOLORS, which is a book that features all of the paintings from the Buffalo My City watercolor collection and includes commentaries on the architecture and history behind these Buffalo landmarks.

Most recently, Dr. Lalli was awarded The Man of the Year from Baker Victory for his lifelong accomplishments for the City of Buffalo.