Introducing | 2019 Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award Recipient Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
Smith recognized with $12,000 unrestricted cash award for mature visual artists with a long history of creative practice.
New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced Jaune Quick-to-See Smith as the 2019 recipient of its Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award. The $12,000 award, which was established in 2015, recognizes artistic excellence and provides resources to mature visual artists with a long history of creative practice. 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.
With the support of an anonymous donor, NYFA created this annual unrestricted cash award to enable artists with a long history of creative practice to pursue deeper investigations or new explorations that can inform or 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.
This year’s Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award recipient was selected by five panelists from a pool of applicants submitted by a group of anonymous nominators, all of whom are artists or arts professionals from across the United States. This year’s panelists were: Polly Apfelbaum, visual artist; Andrea Arroyo, visual artist; David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art; Nell Painter, writer and visual artist; and Sanford Wurmfeld, visual artist.
“Thanks to our generous donor for helping to recognize artists like Jaune Quick-to-See Smith,” said Michael L. Royce, Executive Director, NYFA. “We’re proud to provide support and resources to artists at all stages of their careers, and this award shines a well-deserved light on artists over 60 who have contributed to the richness of our creative landscape,” he added.
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.
Upon receiving the award, Smith said: “Thank you to the Murray Reich family for this prestigious award, it is a great honor to be recognized from my sandbox in the New Mexico desert. I am truly grateful for this has come at a helpful time.”
Born and raised in Coney Island and the south Bronx, Murray Reich (1932-2012) attended City College and received his M.F.A. degree 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. Reich received other fellowships, including one from the National Endowment for the Arts. His work was exhibited in two Whitney Annuals and at the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as in solo shows and group exhibitions.
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, also 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 Mount Tremper in upstate New York.
Images: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Murray Reich ’19), War is Heck, 2002, lithograph, part of The Whitney Museum of American Art’s collection, Image Courtesy: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Photo Credit: Andy Ambrose