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Betty LaDuke, recipient of Oregon Arts Medallion

Betty LaDuke receives the second-ever Oregon Arts Medallion

Betty LaDuke, who taught art for more than three decades at Southern Oregon University, has been named the second recipient of the biennial Oregon Arts Medallion. She received the award from SOU’s Oregon Center for the Arts at a reception earlier this month.

LaDuke has traveled and exhibited her work throughout the world, published books on her travels, painted a 100 foot high mural, featured her art at Disneyland and the United Nations, been passionately involved in social activism and community engagement, and has given generously of her time, talent and resources in support of young artists from all cultural backgrounds.

Her art can currently be seen across the SOU campus – in Hannon Library, the atrium of the Theatre/JPR Building and in Churchill Hall.

LaDuke was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1933. She attended the High School of Music and Art in New York and later received scholarships to study at Denver University, the Cleveland Institute of Art and at the prestigious Instituto Allende in San Miguel, Mexico.

She lived in Mexico with the indigenous Otomi, whose heritage influenced LaDuke’s work throughout her career.

She received her master’s degree in printmaking from California State University, Los Angeles, then moved to Ashland and was the only woman in SOU’s Art Department for 18 of her 32 years of teaching.

The Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU created the Oregon Arts Medallion in 2017 to honor long-term philanthropists who support the arts in Oregon. OCA Director David Humphrey and the SOU Foundation awarded the first medallion to Jim Collier, who annually supports over 18 organizations per year to nurture up-and-coming young artists.

Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer

Inaugural Oregon Arts Medallion goes to Medford’s James Morrison Collier


NEWS BRIEF (available online at https://goo.gl/ikzPhh)
(Ashland, Ore.) — The inaugural Oregon Arts Medallion, presented by Southern Oregon University’s Oregon Center for the Arts, was awarded today to local arts patron James Morrison Collier in recognition of his widespread philanthropy in support of local arts organizations.
Collier – who taught English in Delano, Calif., before moving to Medford in 2003 – was honored during a luncheon in SOU’s Schneider Museum of Art. Speakers included SOU President Linda Schott and SOU Board of Trustees Chair Bill Thorndike, who presented the medallion.
Other guests at the presentation included acclaimed pianist and SOU music professor Alexander Tutunov, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor Armando Duran, who plays the title role in OSF’s current production of Julius Caesar. Duran spoke as Julius Caesar to honor Collier, who wrote his master’s thesis on the Shakespeare play.
The Oregon Arts Medallion was created by the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU to recognize and honor outstanding philanthropy in the arts throughout Oregon. The OCA’s mission, in part, is to honor Oregonians who participate in or support the arts.
Criteria for the new award is straightforward: long-term support for the arts in Oregon. The recipient is selected by OCA Director David Humphrey and the SOU Foundation.
Collier, who is particularly interested in supporting young artists, has helped numerous local arts organizations. Medford’s Craterian Theater became the Craterian Theater at The Collier Center for the Performing Arts after Collier made an undisclosed donation five years ago. Talent’s Camelot Theatre named a new venue in Collier’s honor in 2010 after he made a $300,000 donation. Other organizations he has supported include the Rogue Valley Symphony, the Rogue Opera and the Rogue Valley Chorale.
He has also donated several pianos, including one to the Rogue Valley Manor, where he lives.
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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.