Contemporary Native Art to Russia

This website shows the art and artists involved in the June-July 2012 Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Art and the September-October 2012 Novosibirsk State Museum of Art biennial.

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Celebrate 40,000 Years, lithography, 1997

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

Born 1940

AFA, Olympic College, Bremerton, Washington, USA

BA in Art Education, Framingham State College, Massachusetts, USA

MA, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA


Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is one of the most acclaimed American Indian artists today; currently, she is the only living Native artist to be included general art history text books. Born at the Indian Mission on her reservation, she is an enrolled Salish member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, Montana. 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." (Art in America, 2001) Smith has been creating complicated abstract paintings and lithographs since the 1970s. She employs a wide variety of media, working in painting, printmaking and richly textured mixed media pieces. Such images and collage elements as commercial slogans, sign-like petroglyphs, rough drawing, and the inclusion and layering of text are unusually intersected into a complex vision created out of the artist’s personal experience. Her works contain strong, insistent socio-political commentary that speaks to past and present cultural appropriation and abuse, while identifying the continued significance of the Native American peoples.


Ms. Smith has been a strong voice for contemporary Native arts, organizing group exhibitions across the country. She has been reviewed in most art periodicals.  Smith has had over 100 solo exhibits in the past 40 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 200 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 and recently, a new terrazzo floor design at the Denver Airport.


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; Governor’s Outstanding New Mexico Woman’s Award 2005; New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the  Arts 2005; Visionary Woman Award 2011, Moore College, Phila. PA; and Living Artist of Distinction Award, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, 2012. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from four universities and her work is in many international museum collections.