Ruthe Blalock Jones to Receive 2014 Circle of Honor Award


   Tulsa City-County Library’s American Indian Resource Center will induct Ruthe Blalock Jones into the Circle of Honor during a special presentation March 1, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at Hardesty Regional Library’s Connor’s Cove, 8316 E. 93rd St.
   Jones’ award presentation begins the monthlong American Indian Festival of Words celebration honoring the achievements and accomplishments of Native Americans.  Programs will be held throughout TCCL locations during March.  All library events are free and open to the public.
   Jones, of Shawnee-Delaware-Peoria descent, was born in Claremore, Okla.  Her work as an artist began at age 10 under the tutelage of Charles Banks Wilson.  At age 13, she entered the Philbrook Indian Annual show and earned an honorable mention.  She attended Bacone College and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Tulsa in 1972.  In 2011, she was appointed Commissioner of Indian arts and Crafts Board (IACB) by Department of the Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar.  She is director emeritus and associate professor of Art at Bacone College.
   Her works focus on the traditional American Indian ceremonial and social events.  They are recorded in paintings, drawings, limited edition prints in linoleum block, woodcut and serigraphs.  In recent years, her works have been published by Gilcrease Museum, The University of Oklahoma Press, The Museum of Natural History, Time-Life Books, and the United States Department of Justice Annual Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect.
   Recent showings have been at the UTSUNOMIYA Museum of Art, Utsunomiya, Japan; “Arts in Embassies,” Kampala, Uganda; Endicott College, Beverly, Massachusetts; Cherokee Art Market 2011, Cherokee Casino, Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Red Earth master Artists Exhibit 2011, Red Earth Gallery, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
   Select collections of her art include the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Ariz.; Museum of the American Indian, New York; Hampton University, Hampton, Va., The National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C., and Avery Collection, Arizona State University.
   Past advisory positions have been with the Chicago Art Institute, Oklahoma Historical Society and Advisory Committee to the director of the Sam Noble Museum, University of Oklahoma.  Most recently, she served as a panelist at the British Museum, London, England.
   The Circle of Honor ceremony recognizes an American Indian for his or her achievements by acknowledging the inductee’s contributions that have enriched others’ lives and by celebrating the inductee’s action in the face of adversity, commitment to the preservation of American Indian culture and legacy for future generations.
   “I was proud and honored when I was informed that I had been named to the Circle of Honor.  It is especially humbling and gratifying to follow in such a prestigious line of past honorees,” said Jones.  “As an artist, the award recognizes and honors artists and the work we do.  Speaking for most Indian artists that I know, I believe we are all interested in honoring and preserving the culture and traditions of our families and tribes.  That is what I have tried to do with help along the way from my parents, relatives and friends, teachers, collectors and others.  I will strive to continue on this path and try to live up to the high standard of the award and the previous recipients.  I am mindful of those who have gone on and are not here to share this honor.  I believe they are here in spirit; one especially is my recently departed friend Charles Banks Wilson, who I know would be very proud.  N’yweh, Thank you.”
   Sponsored by the Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation, Cherokee Builders Inc., American Indian Resource Center and the Tulsa Library Trust.  The award consists of a $5,000 honorarium and a medallion featuring the American Indian Resource Center’s turtle logo.
   The Circle of Honor alternates annually with the American Indian Festival of Words Author Award.  Past Circle of Honor recipients include Charles Chibitty, Wilma Mankiller, Neal McCaleb, Bill Mills and Kirke Kickingbird.
    The American Indian Resource Center, located at the Zarrow Regional Library, 2224 W. 51st St., provides educational and informational resources, activities and services honoring American Indian heritage, arts and achievements.  The center also provides access to more than 4,000 books and media for adults and children by and about American Indians, including historical and rare materials, new releases, videos and music CDs.
   Recent additions to the collection include native-language printed materials and CDs for independent learning.  The goal of this collection is to promote, revitalize and preserve our country’s native languages.
   For more information on the Circle of Honor ceremony, call the AskUs Hotline, 918-549-7323, or visit the library’s website,
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