Published on January 11, 2013 by Amy
Donald D. Ruleaux was born in Martin, South Dakota in 1931 to an English mother and French/Indian father. Ruleaux spent his early childhood on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which is reflected in his portrayal of the Lakota people.
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Ruleaux graduated from high school in Gordon, Nebraska in 1950. He acquired a B.A. in Art Education and a M.A. in Education after attending the Kansas City Art Institute, Chadron State College, George Washington University and Arizona State University.
Ruleaux has worked as a cartographer for the U.S. Geological Survey and as a package designer for Bemis Brothers Bag Company. He has also worked as an artist/draftsman for the movie Lakota Woman, which was filmed in the Black Hills area.
He has been both a professional artist and an art educator for over 40 years. During this time, Ruleaux has received many awards, grants and prizes and has exhibited widely throughout the country. Ruleaux works in many different mediums and styles, but he is best known for his rare silver-point drawings and beautiful watercolors.
After his return to South Dakota in 1993, Ruleaux taught a session of the Oscar Howe Summer Workshop for the University of South Dakota, Vermillion. He resided in Spearfish and worked from his Red Bison Studio in Whitewood, South Dakota. During this time, Ruleaux served on the South Dakota Arts Council for five years.
In 1996, Chadron State College honored Ruleaux with a Distinguished Service Award. He moved to Chadron, Nebraska in 1999, where he continues to produce art. The college has also made the art department accessible to him, enabling Ruleaux to work in various art disciplines. He is presently on the adjunct art faculty at Chadron State.
Ruleaux also served as advisor for Heartdreams and Legends, an international touring show of Australian Aboriginal and Northern Plains Indian art. Display locations inlcude the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and Penn State University.
The artist’s latest endeavor has been a mural painting for the American Indian display in the new Middle Border Museum, located on the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota.
Ruleaux and his wife Betty presently reside in Chadron, Nebraska.