A brief history of Bartlesville Art Association

During the early 1950s, a group of artists painted together at Herb Sheller’s studio in Bartlesville but needed more space. They noticed a park shelter that had degenerated into a hostel for hobos and makeshift barn for horses. The group asked for permission from the City to fix up the dilapidated building. On May 13, 1952, the group drafted a constitution and became formally known as the Bartlesville Artists Association. Paul Perkins was elected the first president in the Association’s new home: The Art Center in Johnstone Park.

The Art Center was the beloved home of BAA where classes, workshops, and other events were hosted for the next 65 years, including our annual Spring Art Show and Sale, one of the longest-running civic events in Bartlesville.

The name of the organization was changed to the Bartlesville Art Association in 1965 to encourage membership not only of artists but anyone who appreciates art and wants to help promote the visual arts in Bartlesville. BAA incorporated, becoming a tax-exempt not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization.

In 2016 BAA began raising funds for much needed repairs to The Art Center. The building was deemed to be in a flood plain and as such the City could no longer maintain it. Around this time Scott Ambler generously invited BAA to move to a little-used office building in the Price Tower Arts Center and we gratefully accepted.

BAA made our big move in April 2017. We are directly north of Price Tower, the landmark skyscraper designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The old Art Center was razed shortly after the move.

Still an all-volunteer organization, BAA is now thriving with art activities nearly every day. We have partnered with civic organizations and our local schools to provide arts education and promotion of the visual arts. Bartlesville is recognized as one of the top arts communities in the state. Thank you to all who founded BAA, those who continue to support us, and all members past and present.

Honorary Life Members

Jan & Merlin Clark

Jimmie Schmoldt

Recipients of Schmoldt Champion of BAA Award

2017  Hans & Jimmie Schmoldt

2018  Jan & Merlin Clark

2019  Dedra Morgan

2020 Steve & Diane Leroux

Past Presidents of Bartlesville Art Association

Paul Perkins 1952-53
Bruce Weaver 1953-54
Don Nick 1954-55
Jim Sloan 1955-56
Ida Mae Moore 1956-57
Ida Mae M. Kendricks 1956-57
Vivian Ballard 1958-59
Aura Dean Hawk 1959-60
Lela Brown 1960-62
Curtis Hicks 1962-63
Jack Grace 1962-63
Conrad Brown 1963-64
Suzanne Atkinson 1964-65
Barbara Courtney 1965-66
Dick Thomas 1966-67
Shirley Packard 1967-68
Jim Tebow 1968-69
Marie Blackburn 1969-70
Clark Chapman 1970-71
Caroline Nowack 1971-72
Odie McReynolds 1972-73
Lynn Schwartz 1973-74
Odie McReynolds 1974-75
Carol Lacquement 1975-76
Carl Elkan 1976-78
JoAnne Myers 1978-79
Virginia N. Sweet 1979-80
Barbara Kuepker 1980-81

Caroline Nowack 1981-82
Pat Salinsky 1982-83
Sonya Terpening 1983-84
Odie McReynolds 1984-85
Ed VanDenBark 1985-86
Lyn Bohon 1986-88
June Pritchard 1988-89
Pearl Dabbar 1989-90
Ruth Mosher 1990-91
Edwige Denyszyn 1992-93
Jim Pritchard 1993-95
Bill Bohon 1995-97
Lon Erwin 1997-98
Merlin Clark 1998-00
JoAnn Wood Rogers 2000-02
Ruth Mosher 2002-03
Ragon Steele 2003-05
Ruth Mosher 2005-06
Nona Cross 2006-08
Steve Leroux 2008-10
John Hufford 2010-11
Steve Leroux 2011-12
JoAnn Vann 2012
Dedra Morgan 2012-14
Ragon Steele 2014-15
Kim Inman 2015-16
Amy Jenkins 2016-2019
Kathleen Rutledge 2019-current