Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Flathead Reservation, Montana

Sovereign Nations

2002 Mixed media, oil on canvas

For decades, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith has been a force in the Indigenous Peoples art community.  She sees and uses her art as her voice, creating complex and abstract paintings that combine contemporary Indigenous Peoples culture with socio-political commentary and their difficult past.  Many of her works focus on cultural abuses, tribal politics, human rights, and environmental loss and destruction.  Smith merges the past and present by combining Indigenous imagery and symbols with provocative newspaper clippings, scrawled or overlapping text, and the application of paint to represent blood or tears.

Since receiving a BA in Arts Education at Framingham State College (now Framingham State University) and an MA from the University of New Mexico, Smith has advocated for Indigenous women in the arts.  She has created several organizations including the Grey Canon Group and co-founded Coup Marks and the Women of Sweetgrass, Cedar, and Sage.  She has also organized and curated dozens of exhibitions for Indigenous women across the country.  In 2020, Smith made history becoming the first Indigenous woman to have her artwork purchased by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Museum Purchase, 2004.1