A Southern Ute/Navajo, 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.
Joe won a nationwide competition for a monumental bronze, Standing Bear, his largest work. Installed in 1996 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 the Gold and Silver Medals for Sculpture at the Cowboy Artists of America Sale and Exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum. In 1996 he won the William F. Weiss Purchase Award at the Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming. In 1999 he was a featured artist at the Gilcrease Museum’s Rendezvous in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1999, his sculpture Beauty of the Navajo won the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation Award for Sculpture at the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale, and in 2000, he repeated with Singer of Old Songs, which also was purchased and donated to the Autry National Center’s permanent collection. In 2000, Joe received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 2006 he won the Prix De West Purchase Award at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, and he won the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation Award for Sculpture at the 2006 and 2009 Masters. He is a member of Cowboy Artists of America.