January 27, 2022 La Grande Oberserver – Dick Mason
(view the original article here)
LA GRANDE — An election is underway, one which is giving people a chance to honor and reflect upon the lives and contributions of popular artists from Union County’s recent past.
The election is for the renaming of Art Center East’s Co-op Gallery. Four Union County artists who were nominated to become the gallery’s namesake are on the ballot.
“The beautiful part of this process is that it honors individuals and brings an awareness of them,” said Darcy Dolge, executive director of Art Center East.
The candidates, all of whom were nominated posthumously, are Dennis “Craig” Canoy, an art teacher and painter; Kat Galloway, an Eastern Oregon University art instructor who also taught children; Tom Madden, a poet and EOU writing and journalism professor; and Sue Orlaske, a biologist who was also a ceramic artist.
The Art Center East staff asked the families of all four nominees for permission to place their names on the ballot.
Dolge said that several artists were invited to also be on the ballot but the families declined.
They asked not to be on the ballot after learning of who had already been nominated.
“It was a beautiful thing,” Dolge said.
If people would like to add an artist or art supporter to the ballot, this will be done if at least 10 individuals nominate the person by emailing Art Center East at [email protected].
People can vote by going on to Art Center East’s website, www.artcentereast.org, by calling the art center at 541-624-2800, or in-person by coming to Art Center East’s building at 1006 Penn Ave., La Grande. ACE is open Wednesday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Votes will be accepted through midnight on Thursday, March 10.
People are asked to vote just once but nobody will be checking to see if individuals are voting multiple times.
“It is on the honor system,” Dolge said.
She said the results will have greater impact if the one-vote rule is followed.
“If I vote five times it is not as meaningful as when I vote once and four others also vote,” Dolge said.
She said a difficult selection process awaits voters.
“There is no wrong choice because this is such a beautiful group of people,” Dolge said.
The winner will be announced on Friday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m. during the Fiber Arts & Jewelry Exhibit’s closing reception at the art center.
Following are brief looks at the candidates based on information provided by their families on Art Center East’s website.
Dennis “Craig” Canoy
Canoy taught art and design at Hillsboro High School for three decades. He moved to La Grande in the 1990s after retiring.
A pastel painter, he focused on depicting the beauty of the natural world, He exhibited his work in three galleries in Oregon, including Portland State’s Littman Gallery, the Kathrin Cawein Gallery of Art at Pacific University and Peterson’s Gallery in Baker City.
Canoy, who died in 2020 and was a University of Oregon graduate, left his art collection to ACE for the purpose of fundraising. The pieces in his collection are his own works and those of regional artists.
Galloway was an art professor at Eastern Oregon University where she taught printmaking and drawing starting in 1998. According to information submitted, Galloway had an encouraging teaching style, and “her students were able to find within them a way to overcome the impossible to not only create art but to also deeply appreciate art.’’
Galloway, as an educator, also worked with younger art students. For example, she was a big supporter of Central Elementary School’s Art Literacy program.
Galloway was also a leader of the Union County Arts and Culture Center, which merged with ArtsEast in 2015 to become Art Center East. She played an important role in the process of Art Center East leasing the city’s old Carnegie Library building, which ACE is now located in.
Thomas “Tom” Madden
Madden was a poet, writer and teacher. Madden taught English, writing and journalism at Eastern Oregon University for 25 years and led poetry workshops at Art Center East after his retirement from EOU in 2000.
He enjoyed teaching community members to write poems about many subjects, especially the natural environment, helping them craft short pieces about landscape, seasons, weather, plants and animals. He emphasized a constructive, friendly atmosphere in his classes and workshops, according to his family.
Early in his career, he worked as a reporter for several newspapers, including the Oregonian. Madden published three collections of poems: “Graves in Wheat” (1998), “Lessons for Custer” (2006) — a finalist for the Western Writers of America Spur Award in 2007 — and “This Dialect of Grass,” which was published posthumously in 2019.
A biologist who had no formal art training but had a lifelong interest in art, Orlaske became a full-time artist in the 1990s when she moved to Union County. She produced ceramic art as well as two-dimensional art. Her themes often included abstract and representational natural elements — Eastern Oregon landscapes, critters, and plants.
She became well known in Northeastern Oregon for the quality of her work and for her willingness to help and teach others, according to her family. She was a member and actively involved with three art co-ops: Art Center East, Valley Art in Forest Grove and Crossroads in Baker City.
Orlaske won several regional art awards and was a featured artist on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Art Beat. Her work has been carried by several galleries in Oregon and Southern Washington.