Jaune Quick-to-See Smith


Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (born 1940) is a contemporary Native artist and cultural arts worker. Her paintings are colorful, expressive, and home to a community of figures and animals that roam throughout her compositions.  The visual language of her oeuvre draws from an abundance of sources to form a dialogue between Native history and contemporary culture. The artist’s idiosyncratic symbol system and specific cultural reference are counterpoints to the broader American cultural signifiers that surface in her work. In her practice, Quick-To-See Smith methodically centralizes Native people and Native art in contemporary society. Characters from Salish and Cree-Chippewa-Ojibwe creation stories such as the trickster Coyote and Rabbit populate the artist’s paintings, acting as guides who expose myths of Western cultural hegemony that permeate the foundations of American society. 


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 a BA in Art Education from Framingham State College, Massachusetts, and an MA in Visual Arts from the University of New Mexico in 1980. She is represented by Garth Greenan Gallery, New York and currently lives in Corrales, New Mexico. 


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.