Matriarchs ExhibitPhoto by Christian Toews

Brad Joe's family view his exhibit during the meet and greet at the Choctaw Cultural Center.

Ohyo Hlampko Vhleha: Influence of Matriarchs exhibit opens at Choctaw Cultural Center

By Christian Toews
December 1, 2023

The Choctaw Cultural Center in Durant, Oklahoma, hosted a meet and greet for the opening of a new temporary installment by Choctaw artist Brad Joe on October 31, 2023.

Ohoyo Hlampko Vhleha: The Influence of Matriarchs will be displayed until March 16, 2024.

The exhibition honors the strong women who shaped Brad Joe into the multifaceted artist he is today. His photography, beadwork and music can be seen and heard at the exhibition.

Joe was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and now lives in Dickson. He said he discovered his artistic abilities around the age of 12.

“My sister was creative in drawing and painting. I also began to be creative through her being creative,” said Joe.

According to Joe, he was taught how to bead by the women of his father’s family and was encouraged to pursue his artistic talents by his mother, grandmother and aunts.

Two of Joe’s sisters were among the many visitors who came to the meet and greet.

His sisters were incredibly proud of their brother and hoped that this was the first of many times his art would be displayed.

Matriarchs Exhibit
Photo by Christian Toews

(Left to Right) Brad Joe’s sisters and niece attended the meet and greet. Elaine Day, Annette Aaron, Brad Joe, Elaine Day (Front) Rody Walker.

“It was really special to learn about your family and get to know Brad better. I’ve known you for a while and been a fan of your work before, I think you knew who I was,” said Claire Young, the curator at the Choctaw Cultural Center. “I’m very glad to get to display it here at the center. I think my role is pretty special because I get to work with community members and show what they are capable of.”

Joe said he hopes that through this exhibit, people can take away the importance of honoring the women in their families.

“I hope they can see the impact that my mother had on me and that they can adopt and do the same with their families, with their mothers, grandmothers, aunts,” said Joe. “That they see the importance of the women in their family.”

To plan your visit to see Ohoyo Hlampko Vhleha: The Influence of Matriarchs, visit