Artwork copyright Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Photo courtesy of Washington State Arts Commission.


Ode to Chief Seattle, 1991

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
(American | Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, born 1940)

Location: Senator Marko Liias's Office, Olympia


Jaune Quick-to-See Smith created the Ode to Chief Seattle series to honor the idea of human unity with nature. The title is an homage to Chief Sealth, the Suquamish and Duwamish chief for whom the city of Seattle is named. Chief Sealth was a vocal advocate for environmental responsibility and the rights of Native Americans. He stated, "The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath—the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath...We are part of the earth and it is part of us." Quick-to-See Smith created this series for the collection "Who We Are: Autobiographies in Art." The Washington State Arts Commission, in partnership with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, commissioned the collection in 1990.

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Who We Are: Autobiographies in Art Collection.


Celebrated Native American painter Jaune Quick-to-see Smith draws connections between traditional art techniques and formal modernism. Born and raised on the Flathead Nation in Montana, she is an enrolled Salish member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She graduated from Puyallup High School and received an Associate of Arts degree at Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington in 1960. She then studied at the University of Washington before receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education from Framingham State College in Massachusetts in 1976. She received a Master of Arts degree in Art from the University of New Mexico in 1980. Quick-to-See Smith’s artworks are represented in many museum collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. She has received honorary degrees from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts, Massachusetts College of Art, University of New Mexico, and Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana.


Material Category

Work on paper - print

Work on paper - mixed media


Lithograph and collage on paper


30 in x 22 in

ID Number


Acquisition Method

Site responsive commission

Artist Location

Texas, United States



Washington State Senate

Artwork Location

Senator Marko Liias's Office
Hallway behind Senate Floor

WA County




Site Type

State Agency


309 Legislative Building, Capitol Campus
Olympia, WA 98504

Geo. Coordinates

47.035728 | -122.904804

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