Press Release

Release Date: July 09, 2024
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

BYNG, Okla. – Aiden Coleman has been reminding his mother he is a “professional artist” recently, and he’s right.

In March, Aiden’s creation “Orange Moon” was judged as the first-place winner in the sculpture category in the Red Earth Youth Art competition in Oklahoma City. Red Earth is one of the most prestigious First American art shows in the country and, for Aiden, “it felt amazing” to be recognized for his work.

Aiden said he was surprised “Orange Moon” finished in the top spot given the other art on display.

“Yes, I was surprised,” he said. “I was excited too.”

The 12-year-old son of Hannah Postoak has finished the 2023-2024 school year and is dedicated to working with chickens he raises on the Byng homestead. Aiden said his pets have been stalked by an unknown predator and he is keeping a close watch on the flock.

“I don’t think I’ll work on art during the summer vacation,” he said.

His mother explained “Orange Moon” was inspired by his grandmother, Gwen Postoak, who assisted at the Chickasaw Arts Academy and is also an instructor for the Chickasaw Nation After School Arts Program. Both programs are part of the Chickasaw Nation Department of Culture and Humanities.

The ceramic and glass creation shows a colorful moon with the Earth as a small speck in outer space. The darkness of space is highlighted in Aiden’s creation, but the blue Earth and the colorful moon shine true.

Aiden is interested in science and math. He plans to take courses aimed at those mediums as he enters sixth grade this autumn. He is enthusiastic about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The young Chickasaw is looking to be active in the STEM Academy hosted by the Chickasaw Nation for students wishing to pursue careers in the field.

His mother is proud of her son and said when his Red Earth check arrived, she took him to the bank to cash it. “He reminds me all the time he is a professional artist,” Postoak said with a hearty laugh. “I am not sure Aiden completely realized how well he did at Red Earth until the award check was distributed.”

Postoak is employed as a nutrition benefits specialist for the Chickasaw Nation Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Program. The program offered by the Chickasaw Nation helps to alleviate hunger among children.

Postoak also is learning to bead earrings and Christmas ornaments but admits with four children her “downtime” is pretty hectic.

In the Byng household are Aiden, 12; brothers Daxton, 8, and Teegan,7; and little sister Paulina Postoak, 2.

Aiden will attend the Chickasaw Arts Academy this summer and then will become active in the after-school art classes when school resumes with hopes of bringing home another Red Earth first prize.