Beaule Ruggles
Implorante IV, Acrylic on Canvas, 12 x 12”, 2004

Joanne Beaule Ruggles

Artist Statement

I have no patience for those who attempt to dictate appropriate subject matter - declaring as "off-limits" anything but the most trivialized portrayal of the human condition. The dark side of the human psyche exists.


Born in New York City in 1946, Joanne Beaule Ruggles grew up in northern Ohio and attended Ohio State University on scholarship to earn both BFA (1968) and MFA degrees in painting (1970). After graduate school, the artist held studio art teaching positions at Ohio State University, Alan Hancock College, Cuesta College, and at California Polytechnic State University where she taught for most of her career.

A twenty-five year retrospective of Ruggles’ mixed media figure drawing was held at Cal Poly in January, 1994. Recipient of two State Faculty Support Grants, the artist was also awarded two sabbatical leaves (1995 -96 and 2001 – 2002 academic years) in order to work on figurative painting projects. She was nominated for the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Scholarship / Creative Activity Award, the CLA Student Council’s Teacher of the Year Award (1999), and was a finalist for her university’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2000).

Since 1980, Ruggles has participated in and received awards at international drawing and print biennials in sixteen countries throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. For 16 years she has served as a reviewer for artist residencies at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, and she has juried numerous California exhibitions, scholarship competitions, and Art in Public Places projects. Additionally, Ruggles was selected as an artist / participant in the Art in Embassies Program of the US Department of State. As a result of this honor, several of her paintings were loaned in a three-year exhibit at the US Embassy in Luanda, Angola, and second collection was loaned for the American Ambassador’s residence in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Joanne Beaule Ruggles retired from her university teaching position in 2004. That year she was named the recipient of Cal Poly’s Annual Outstanding Research Award. She now teaches occasional workshops and pursues her own art projects that have garnered grants from the James Irvine Foundation, San Luis Obispo Community Foundation, Puffin Foundation, and Capelli d’Angeli Foundation in recent years. A solo exhibit of the artist’s figure work Hand, Eye, Heart was held in August of 2010 at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts.