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Tribal Diversity: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith featuring Neal Ambrose

Tribal Diversity: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith featuring Neal Ambrose

November 2, 2012-January 27, 2013
Image by Juane Quick-to-See Smith

“Tribal Diversity: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith featuring Neal Ambrose,” will be displayed beginning November 2, 2012 in the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp Museum at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus. 

The public is invited to attend the artists' talk at 5:30 p.m. on October 31. An opening reception will be held from 4-8 p.m. on November 2.  The exhibit will remain on display through January 27, 2013. Admission is free.

Tribal Diversity presents the works of mother and son artists, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith and Neal Ambrose-Smith.   Both artists are deeply connected to their heritage, Smith creates work addressing the myths of her ancestors in the context of current issues facing American Indians while Ambrose-Smith often mixes tribal imagery and humor with current events and political issue.  Both are enrolled Salish, Cree, Shoshone and Metis members from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, Montana. 

Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

The Crisp Museum is located in the Cultural Arts Center at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus, 518 S. Fountain St., Cape Girardeau, Missouri. For more information, email or call (573) 651-2260. 

I consider myself a cultural art worker, addressing issues of our time from  a Native American world view. Using a mixture of humor and pathos, I create a pictorial narrative.  Political art can be  locked in its own time but I strive for reportage of the human condition and its multiple facets such as greed, violence, war, human and animal rights, the environment. From lobbing rocks in cave times to lobbing rockets in our time, there is still a need for chant, prayer, hopefulness, ceremony and beauty. Painting and making art is a way of working it out. 

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith was born at the Indian Mission on her reservation. She is an enrolled Salish member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, Montana.  

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

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is one of the most acclaimed American Indian artists today. 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. Art Table Artist Honoree, NY 2011; Visionary Woman Award 2011, Moore College, Phila. PA; Elected to National Academy of Art, NY 2011; Living Artist of Distinction Award, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, 2012; Switzer Distinguished Artist 2012 and four honorary doctorates: Minneapolis College of Art and Design 1992; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1998; Massachusetts College of Art 2003; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 2009.    

She is 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, The Whitney Museum, NY and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.    

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, (Art in America 2001) 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."      


River Campus, 175 Cultural Arts Center
Crisp Museum
One University Plaza, MS 7875
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701