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Ruthe Jones

Ruthe Blalock Jones 1995 Inductee

Ruthe Blalock Jones (Chu-Lun-Dit) was born of Shawnee-Delaware-Peoria descent in Claremore, Oklahoma, on June 8, 1939. She attended a two-room elementary school at Lincolnville District 20 in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, until the seventh grade, when she went to school in Miami, Oklahoma. For a brief period she attended Dewey, Oklahoma schools before continuing on to Bacone College High School on an art scholarship.

Jones earned her associate's of art degree at Bacone College. After earning her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Tulsa in 1972, she worked for a time at DHS. In 1979 she began her career as an art professor at her alma mater, Bacone College, where she is now art director emeritus.

Encouraged at a young age by her parents as well as family friend Charles Banks Wilson, Jones first entered the Philbrook Annual at the age of 15 when she was awarded honorable mention and sold her watercolor for $15. She submitted work to the Annual every year from 1952 until it closed in 1979. Jones authored a chapter about the Philbrook Annual in Visions and Voices: Native American Painting from the Philbrook Museum of Art.

Her work has been included in collections such as the Strickland Collection at the Fred Jones Museum at the University of Oklahoma, the Wiggins Collection at the University of Arkansas, the Avery Collection at the University of Arizona, and the Blue Eagle Collection at the National Museum of Natural History, among others, and on exhibit at museums such as the Gilcrease, Philbrook, Minnesota Cultural Foundation, Amerindian Circle, Museum of the American Indian, and the Department of the Interior.

Jones has served as a consultant and on a number of boards of organizations across the state including Advisory Committee to Director of the Sam Noble Museum at OU, Advisor to the Centennial Sculpture Committee at Northeastern State University, on the Artist Committee of the Oklahoma History Museum, and on the selection committee for the Standing Bear sculpture in Ponca City, Oklahoma. She has also served on the Advisory Committee for Hero, Hawk, & Open Hand at the Art Institute of Chicago as well as for Searching for the Great Hopewell Road, a video for public television.

Jones was inducted in the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame in 1995. She received the Spirit of the Heard Award in 2008, was named Oklahoma Indian Woman of the Year by the Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women in 1996, and received the Governor’s Art Award in 1993. She has been honored as an Alumni Honoree twice at the Fall Pow Wow at Bacone College at a recognition dinner in her honor and has received numerous other awards from the college. 

Ruthe and her husband have four children.

(Bio current as of 2009)