Born in Quanah, Texas, George “Shukata” Willis (Choctaw) has been a working jeweler since 1964. Schooled in art at the University of Texas, George later moved to California where he furthered his training at the Southern California College of Jewelry Design and the Starline Jewelry School in Los Angeles. He then opened his own jewelry business and studio in Oceanside, Carslbad and Rancho Santa Fe, California along with teaching jewelry making as a trade to Disabled American Veterans through the Veterans Administration. George creates his designs using a wide variety of material and techniques. He uses gold, platinum and silver, a myriad of precious and semi-precious stones and buffalo horn. He creates one of a kind and limited edition pieces. His designs are original signed and many have been copyrighted. In 1990 George made the decision to close his retail jewelry shop in order to pursue his longtime dream of creating jewelry as art that reflected his sense of connection to his Choctaw heritage. Since then, he has been showing his work at art shows around the country.
George is currently a resident of Carlsbad, California where he has served as a member of the City Arts Commission. He has also been a Member of the Board of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association since 1997. In 2008 he was a featured artist at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the Voices from the Mound Exhibition. He has won awards at the Indian Arts and Crafts Show, the Red Earth Show, The Heard Museum, The Inter-Tribal Ceremonial, the Powhatan Renape Nation Festival and the Choctaw Nation Fair. George “Shukata” Willis was chosen as the Indian Arts and Crafts Association Artist of the Year, a well-deserved honor for an exciting and unique artist.