CAA Artist Profile: Master Sculptor Oreland Joe

Sculpture Joe, Oreland_Sunrise Blessing

Oreland Joe Sr., Sunrise Blessing, 2010, limestone; on loan from the Eddie Basha Collection.

New Mexican artist Oreland Joe Sr. is the creator of the only stone sculptures in the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) 50th anniversary exhibition, which is on display at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West through Tuesday, May 31, 2016. His artworks connect with viewers of many cultures and backgrounds by portraying the spirit, history and stories of the American West.

Sculpture Joe, Oreland_Sacred Mountain Prayer

Oreland Joe Sr., Sacred Mountain Prayer, 2005, Portuguese marble; on loan from the Eddie Basha Collection.

Oreland is one of the 77 distinguished artists included in the CAA exhibition, which showcases the group’s significant contributions to both fine art and western culture through more than 90 paintings and sculptures. The exhibition is entitled A Salute to Cowboy Artists of America and a Patron, the Late Eddie Basha: 50 Years of Amazing Contributions to the American West. 

Within the exhibition, museum guests can enjoy seeing two of Oreland’s artworks: Sunrise Blessing, a limestone sculpture, and Sacred Mountain Prayer, a Portuguese marble sculpture. Oreland’s daughter is also the subject of fellow CAA artist John Coleman’s painting Summer Blossom.

Oreland, who is of Diné (Navajo) and Ute descent, is the first Native American to be admitted into CAA, an association that has been recognized as one of the most influential artists’ groups in the nation’s history. During the course of his CAA membership, Oreland’s artwork has earned four gold and three silver medals, as well as awards by other esteemed groups.

Oreland Joe Navajo Code Talker Monument

Oreland Joe Sr., Navajo Code Talker Monument, 2008, bronze; courtesy of Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza.

Additionally, Oreland creates monumental sculptures, such as the 16-foot Navajo Code Talker Monument  bronze, which commemorates the service of hundreds of Navajo Marines who used their language to assist U.S. war efforts during World War II. The statue stands on view in the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza at the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona.

In November 2016, Oreland will share his expertise with other artists as he presents a workshop entitled “The Native American Portrait in Clay” at the Scottsdale Artists’ School in downtown Scottsdale. Those who are interested in attending the five-day class may register on the school’s website as of June 15, 2016.

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