Jaune Quick-to-See Smith


Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (b. 1940, Montana) is a contemporary Native artist and cultural arts worker. Her colorful, expressive compositions are home to a community of roaming figures and animals. Forming a dialogue between Native history and contemporary culture, the artist’s visual language draws from an abundance of sources. Characters from Salish and Cree-Chippewa-Ojibwe creation stories populate the artist’s compositions, acting as guides who expose myths of Western cultural hegemony.


Quick-to-See Smith was born in St. Ignatius and is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She uses her platform as a universally known and celebrated Indigenous woman in the arts to uplift other Native artists and engage the art world with voices that have been culturally erased. Her life as an activist and educator feeds her work as an artist, amplifying social issues of Western colonialism, capitalism, and environmental justice. Smith received her BA in Art Education from Framingham State College, Massachusetts, and an MA in Visual Arts from the University of New Mexico in 1980. Smith’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (Ecuador), Walker Art Center (Minnesota), Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington D.C.) and Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), among others. She has an upcoming major retrospective at the Whitney, slated for 2023.


related works

  • Kiki Smith’s figurative and oftentimes spiritual works are layered with meaning and encompass themes including Catholicism, fairy tales, and folklore. View her work.
  • Transavanguardia artist Mimmo Paladino draws from tribal and classical aesthetics to create modernist sculptures and prints. View his work.