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A major exhibition of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s diverse art will be on view in Billings at the Yellowstone Art Museum through July 16, and will travel to Missoula and Colorado Springs, Colo.

The exhibition, "Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: In the Footsteps of My Ancestors," opens Thursday, March 22, with an evening reception at the YAM.

Quick-to-See Smith is one of the country's finest indigenous talents. This exhibition will be the first solo exhibition of the artist’s work in her native state of Montana in a generation.

Smith is a mature, late-career artist with extraordinary aesthetic, intellectual and curatorial achievements to her credit. She mines her cross-cultural experience and Salish-Kootenai identity, and spans cultures with powerful, idiosyncratic results. Few Native artists have worked with such grace, inventiveness, and aesthetic success between cultures and art worlds.

Smith has an international reputation with a strong, clear body of work. She has earned her standing among women artists and Native artists while simultaneously aligning these often still-marginalized groups more closely with the mainstream art world.

The YAM’s exhibition will examine themes that perennially recur in her work, including conflict, compassion, peace, the cycle of life, irony and identity. Smith has always operated on a cusp — culturally, temporally, aesthetically, and from a gender perspective — giving her work an attention-getting vitality, originality and relevance.

Smith's role in the shift toward deepening respect for Native American contemporary art in its own right has been significant. She describes herself as a “cultural arts worker.” Smith also has credits as a curator, writer, speaker and leader in the arts.

Smith has more than 100 solo exhibitions in 28 states to her credit and has exhibited internationally and in dozens more group exhibitions worldwide.

—Jaci Webb

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