The Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award

The Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award provides resources to mature and established visual artists with a long history of creative practice. 

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is proud to announce Jaune Quick-to-See Smith as the 2019 recipient of the Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award, which was inaugurated in 2015. 

With the support of an anonymous donor, NYFA created this annual unrestricted cash award of $12,000 to enable mature artists with a long history of creative practice to pursue deeper investigations or new explorations that can inform and enrich their work. It has been developed in memory of the artist Murray Reich, a New York-based painter who also had a highly regarded career as a professor of art at Bard College.

Reich’s widow, Elizabeth Weatherford, commented in 2015, “Murray appreciated the capacity of artists to turn to their inner lives, and to draw out ideas, beauty, mistakes, or innovations. He would be so pleased that this award will open up new possibilities for the selected artists, allowing them to devote concentrated time–to working, or reflection, or travel, or producing projects, or developing their archives and websites.”

In 2020 The Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award funds will be donated to the Keep NYS Creating Project Grant. This program was established in response to COVID-19 to help artists in Western New York, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Capital District, Mid-Hudson, and Long Island continue their creative projects that have been interrupted due to the pandemic.


Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, an enrolled Salish member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, MT, has been creating complex abstract paintings and prints since the 1970s. She is internationally-known as an artist, curator, lecturer, printmaker, and independent professor. Tribe and community are fundamentals in Smith’s art and activism. A self-described “cultural arts worker,” Smith uses humor and satire to examine stereotypes of American Indian life in contrast to American consumerism. She uses appropriated imagery from commercial slogans and signage, art history, and personal narratives to forge an intimate visual language that carries tremendous weight while feeling light and conversational.

Smith has received numerous awards including the Academy of Arts and Letters’ Hassam, Speicher, Betts, and Symons Purchase Fund; a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters Grant; and a Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award. She also holds four honorary degrees and two Governor’s Arts Award from New Mexico and Montana. Her work is in collections at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Missoula Art Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Walker Art Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art. Smith is represented exclusively by Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.


Born and raised in Coney Island and the South Bronx, Murray Reich (1932-2012) attended City College and received his M.F.A. in Painting from Boston University. Following his first solo show in New York at Max Hutchinson Gallery, Reich was awarded a Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship. His work was exhibited in two Whitney Annuals and at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as solo shows and group exhibitions, and he received other fellowships, including from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Reich was Professor Emeritus of Painting at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, where he taught for 25 years. He served on the faculty of the Graduate Program in Art at Hunter College in New York. He was the inaugural director of Tanglewood’s Summer Program in Art in Massachusetts, and also taught at Boston University.  He lived and worked in New York City, Provincetown, and Mt. Tremper in upstate New York.


Chuck Ginnever
Jane Kaufman


Merion Estes
Mario Martinez


Sarah Draney
Rick Klauber
Reeva Potoff
Kay WalkingStick

Applications are by invitation only.

Image: Murray Reich, courtesy of the artist