Betty LaDuke began her formal art training at the High School of Music and Art in New York. From 1950-53, she was awarded scholarships at Denver University, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and the Instituto Allende, San Miguel, Mexico. LaDuke continued to live and paint in Mexico from 1953-1956. Her Bachelor=s and Master=s degrees are from California State University, Los Angeles, 1961 and 1967.
<>p>LaDuke’s teaching career began as Art Program Director, Grand Street Settlement House, New York City and continued at Stevenson Junior High School in Los Angeles, California. She joined the faculty of Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon in 1964. There, LaDuke initiated the courses AWomen and Art@ and AArt in the Third World@ and received a Faculty Award of Excellence in 1986 and the Oregon Governor’s Award for Art in 1993. After 32 years of teaching, she is now Professor of Art Emeritus.
Throughout her career, LaDuke has traveled extensively, and experiences with cultural diversity form the basis of her artwork. Since 1972, her annual travels and research have focused on women, art, and social change in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Her first and ongoing journeys to Africa began in Nigeria in 1986 to interview women artists. Her annual travels have also resulted in five book publications that include Compañeras, Women, Art and Social Change in Latin America (1985), Africa Through the Eyes of Women Artists (1990), and Africa, Women’s Art, Women’s Lives (1997). LaDuke has also organized touring exhibits of women=s art from India, Borneo, Latin America, and Africa. Videos about her life and work include Africa Between Myth and Reality and An Artist’s Journey from the Bronx to Timbuktu.
Professional exhibits for LaDuke began in Mexico in 1954, and since then she has had more than 250 solo exhibitions of her paintings, drawings, etchings, and photographs on cultural themes: Impressions of India; China, an Insider’s Outside View; Totems and Creation Myths; Print Impressions; Third World Cultures, Latin American Impressions and Celebrating Africa. The three exhibits comprising Celebrating Africa are From Eritrea With Love; Eritrea-Ethiopia: Prayers for Peace; and Africa: Myth, Magic, and Reality. New exhibit themes are: Children of the World; Surviving War, Dreaming Home, and Honor the Earth. In addition, an old-new exhibit theme currently in process is Latin American Transitions, 1953-2001. It encompasses photographs, drawings, and paintings as well as an homage to women artists of Latin America based on LaDuke=s research, photographs, and book.
In recent years, LaDuke’s art exhibits have appeared at Chicago=s Field Museum, IL; Dallas Museum of Art, TX; Hampton University Art Museum, VA; Chattanooga African American Museum, TN; African American Atelier, NC; Paul Robeson Center at Pennsylvania State University; Hudgens Art Center, GA; San Diego Children=s Museum, CA; the Portland Children=s Museum, OR, Haille Ford Museum, OR, and the William King Art Center, VA. International workshops include Mexico, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, Tanzania, Uganda, and Eritrea.