Oreland C Joe

Award-winning artist Oreland C. Joe Sr., whose heritage is Diné (Navajo) and Ute, is the first Native American artist to be admitted into the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America. He is also a founding member of the Indigenous Sculpture Society, which was created to sustain and promote Native American stone sculpture.


Joe’s worldwide travels have enabled him to study the techniques of sculpting, both ancient and modern, and inform his use of texture, form, mass and detail. His work often reflects American Indian lifestyles, songs and dances of the 1820s-1920s. He also draws inspiration from studying the art and history of the European masters (Bernini, Canova and Michelangelo). – Scottsdale’s Museum of the West


Oreland C. Joe’s inspiration comes from his memories of childhood, and from his aunts, uncles, grandmothers, and grandfathers. Before he begins sculpting in his Kirtland, New Mexico studio, he often attends tribal ceremonies.


In 2016 Joe created two monumental bronzes, one, titled Buffalo Tail, for the New Mexico State Capitol building in Santa Fe, and the other, titled AutumnHunt, for the Southern Ute Growth Fund in Ignacio, Colorado. In 1996 he won a nationwide competition for a monumental bronze, Standing Bear, his largest work. Installed in Ponca City, Oklahoma, it is the centerpiece of a park and cultural center dedicated to Plains-area tribes.

Joe has been honored multiple times with Gold and Silver Medals for Sculpture at the Cowboy Artists of America Sale & Exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum, including Silver Medals in 2016 and 2013. He won the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation Award for Sculpture at the 2009, 2006, 2000, and 1999 Masters. In 2006 he won the Prix de West Purchase Award at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, and in 2000 he received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 1999 Joe was a featured artist at the Gilcrease Museum’s Rendezvous in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and in 1996 he won the William F. Weiss Purchase Award at the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming. He is a member of Cowboy Artists of America. – Autry Museum of the American West

Artist Statement


“I find strength, faith, and dignity through my heritage, yet I also find these same things in other cultures – and I derive inspiration and motivation from them as well. In my humble opinion, I’m just an artist who happens to be Native American. I find myself in a unique place of having the blessing of both worlds. And my goal and desire is to have more Native American artist to be in this place”.

Available Work by Oreland C Joe