Books by Betty LaDuke
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In 2010 painter Betty LaDuke was invited to spend time with the men and women who harvest the orchards, vineyards, and farms in southern Oregon. Betty took to the field with her sketch pads and captured the spirit of each worker in her brilliant and vibrant wood painted panels. She also listened to their stories and the stories of small, organic farmers. Bountiful Harvest brings together the stories and paintings from the vibrant local food movement taking place in southern Oregon.
Perhaps, we thought, Betty could go on the road to all the regions where we work and capture in her sketches the dignity and resilience of the people who work so hard just to keep their families alive. Perhaps Betty could also record her observations on how the spirit of “development” is changing, how exciting new ways of helping people help themselves are emerging in the most unlikely of places. I think she has succeeded beautifully.
“Betty LaDuke’s Africa Through the Eyes of Women Artists unusual portraits of twelve artists from Africa and the Diaspora, makes a significant contribution to women’s studies, African diaspora studies, and art history and cultural history. This collection of essays. which results from sensitive interviews conducted by LaDuke with women of African descent throughout the diaspora provides extraordinary insight into the nature of creative expression among a group of women too long ignored by scholars. LaDuke’s pioneering and courageous effort to make visible in this way such a diverse group of talented women deserves our applause.”
-Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Spelman College
“Women Artists: Multi-Cultural Visions will become a part of the basic resources that I recommend to graduate and undergraduate students preparing to be arts professionals. Betty LaDuke’s research is indispensable to their understanding of (the diversity of artists and art forms that should be appreciated within a pluralistic and equitable society.”
–Doug Blandy. Professor of Art Education. University of Oregon.
In Africa, women’s passion to create is evident during times of peace as well as war, under favorable circumstances as well as the most difficult and dangerous imaginable. Their media of expression can be naturally derived or imported. It can vary from monumental stone sculpture to intricate beadwork, or from painting with mud to oil and acrylic. The passion to decorate is evident in daily life from the designs applied to the smallest clay bowls, to the sturdy mud walls of their compounds where women give birth or see life pass away. These decorations are frequently symbolic and the motifs can please as well as reinforce shared community values. – Across the African continent, from Timbuktu, Mali to Harare, Zimbabwe or Asmara, Eritrea, whether women weave, sew, sketch, paint, create fabric appliqué or stone sculptures, their art work often incorporates the duality of myth and reality as they express their hopes, fears, humor, and frustrations. Africa Through the Eyes of Women Artists generates energy history, contemporary ideas, and the natural elements of expression that converge in a centrifugal purpose. The lens of women artists and their unique frames of references provide a beautifully treated and authentic collage of the African experience.
Several years ago a mutual friend introduced Freedom from Hunger to Betty, and we fell in love with her art so full of color and images that capture the spirit of the women with whom we work in poverty areas around the world. But Betty is much more than an artist. Her art is an exquisite expression of her passionate concern for the world of people who have been left behind or even run over by the historic rush to “development.” She takes another step by using her art to support her social activist mission. Betty did not just allow us, she urged us to use her works to enhance our message. Her sketches from Burkina Faso and Ghana became the centerpiece of our annual report a few years ago, which planted the seed for the idea of this book.
Books about Betty LaDuke
Betty LaDuke painted world is a universe in which a multitude of mythic visions come alive in the creative female matrix. LaDuke enables us to see the Earth, the mother, the Artists giving life, shelter, and nurturance to all aspects of her creation throughout the many stages of its growth.
“Betty LaDuke’s multi-cultural vision enlarges our understanding of the symbolic meaning of The Great Earth Mother in extremely important ways. She clarifies for us the way in which the magical resonance of the Goddess as an image of creation, fertility, ecological balance, spirituality, and political empowerment functions both historically and cross-culturally to invest creative works of art with sacred powers of transformation.”
–Gloria F. Orenstein. Univ. of Southern California. Author of Multicultural Celebrations: The Paintings of Betty LaDuke (1993), The Reflowering of the Goddess (1990), and Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism (1990).
Betty LaDuke has traveled the globe documenting Heifer’s work. The fruit of her labor is a 100-foot mural sequence titled “Dreaming Cows,” now hanging in the new Heifer Village on our World Headquarters campus. You can own this beautiful, full color 172 page, art-quality book showcasing the murals and paintings that make up “Dreaming Cows.” Beautifully detailed and in vbibrant color, the book explores Betty’s beginnings and painting philosophy and also features a chapter on Heifer’s history.
“Dreaming Cows: The Paintings, Murals and Drawings of Betty LaDuke Celebrating Heifer International,” can be purchased by calling 1-800-422-0474.