2008 Honorees


Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

b. 1940 

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith was born at the Indian Mission on the Flathead Reservation in 1940. She is an enrolled Flathead Salish member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Nation, Montana.

She received an Associate of Arts Degree at Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington in 1960.  She attended the University of Washington in Seattle, received her BA in Art Education at Framingham State College in 1976, and a masters degree in art at the University of New Mexico in 1980.

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is one of today’s most acclaimed American Indian artists. She has been reviewed in all major art periodicals.  Smith has had over 100 solo exhibits in the past 35 years and has done printmaking projects nationwide.  Over that same time, she has organized and/or curated over 30 Native exhibitions, lectured at more than 185 universities, museums and conferences internationally, most recently at 5 universities in China. Smith has completed several collaborative public art works such as the floor design in the Great Hall of the new Denver Airport; an in-situ sculpture piece in Yerba Buena Park, San Francisco and a mile-long sidewalk history trail in West Seattle.

Smith has received awards such as the Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award, NY l987; the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters Grant 1996; the Womens Caucus for the Arts Lifetime Achievement 1997; the College Art Association Women's Award 2002 and honorary doctorates from Minneapolis College of Art and Design 1992; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1998; Massachusetts College of Art 2003; Governor’s Outstanding New Mexico Woman’s Award 2005; New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the  Arts, the Allan Houser Award 2005.

Her art in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Quito, Ecuador; the Museum of Mankind, Vienna, Austria; The Walker, Minneapolis, MN; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan and The Whitney Museum, NY.  

Smith calls herself a cultural art worker which is also apparent in her work. Elaborating on her Native worldview, Smith's work addresses today's tribal politics, human rights and environmental issues with humor.  Critic Gerrit Henry wrote: "For all the primal nature of her origins, Smith adeptly takes on contemporary American society in her paintings, drawings and prints, looking at things Native and national through bifocals of the old and the new, the sacred and the profane, the divine and the witty."