Mary Ruth Barnes is a Chickasaw Dynamic Woman and her watercolors are on display at the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center, the new Artetian Hotel, and the Capital offices of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma City. One of her watercolor paintings, “Flight of Hope- Fighting Leukemia” was chosen as part of the cover of the American Cancer Society’s Circle of Life Calendar Journal for cancer education and wellness for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities. Her short story and painting “ The Evil Doer” was published in the Spring of 2015 Journal of the Chickasaw History and Culture magazine. Additionally, three of her award-winning photos and one of her watercolor prints have been selected to be permanently displayed in the new Chickasaw Artesian Hotel in Sulphur, Oklahoma. She was honored in 2015 as one of ten women selected as the Chickasaw Dynamic Woman of the Year. She was also featured in the June issue of 2015 Distinctly Oklahoma Magazine for her art. She was selected and archived in the Heard Museum as a Native Artist in 2017. In 2022 Barnes was inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame and Capitol Hill High School Hall of Fame. Barnes debut her first novel, Little Bird, historical fiction in 2022 and was the recipient of two Ippy awards for her historical fiction about Indian
She is extremely active in her community through Rotary and Business and Professional Women As a member of BPW in Ohio, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Mary Ruth received the 2007 “Woman of the Year” award from Ada Business and Professional Women. She has been married to her husband Mike for 49 years. Mary Ruth and Mike live on their ranch south of Ada. She has two sons who live in Ada with their families and she has four grandchildren.