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Oreland Joe

A lifelong resident of New Mexico, Oreland C. Joe, Sr. looks to an 18th century Italian sculptor, Antonio Canova, as his mentor, according to the Cowboy Artists of America website www.caamuseum.com. He studied Canova's art when he was in Italy in 1986. "He was the best carver that ever lived," said Joe. "I was highly influenced by him and gauge all my work against his." Joe has been a sculptor for nearly 15 years. He works primarily in stone, including alabaster, marble and limestone. Because he is a Native American of Ute-Navajo descent, Joe has a special interest in Native American subject matter for his art. His carvings typically depict their rituals, ceremonies, dances and other cultural aspects of tribal life.
When Joe began, there was very little help or training available for this art form through traditional art education. Thus his trip to Italy and his study of Canova's work served as guiding source of inspiration. Later he also studied at the Louvre and the Tokyo Museum of Art, Sculpture Department. These studies, combined with reliance on his own instincts, helped Joe develop his own unique style. In 1993, Joe was invited to become a member of the Cowboy Artists of America. For Joe, this event had a very special meaning. "Being invited to become a member of the Cowboy Artists of America is not only the highlight of my career, but also a step forward for the Native Americans," he explained. Joe is determined that other talented artists who are interested in stone carving won't have to "go it alone" in the future. He periodically teaches talented hopefuls this unique art form. By carrying the tradition of stone-carving forward, Oreland Joe is carving his own unique place in history.


"Nightstar" Bronze by Oreland Joe

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