Neal Ambrose-Smith is considered America’s leading painter of White People. He was born in Texas with a creative fire that began to smolder at a young age. Neal Ambrose-Smith learned color, shading, light and shadow from closely observing nature and drawing what he saw. Always fascinated by the culture and customs of the White People in the area where he lived, the young Neal Ambrose-Smith absorbed their stories and traditions and soon considered them among his closest friends.
After moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico, Neal Ambrose-Smith enjoyed success as an ad designer. Privately, Neal Ambrose-Smith continued to draw and paint as he learned about White People. Neal Ambrose-Smith was reluctant to show his paintings in public for fear of offending the people he so greatly admired. Working in oils and acrylics on canvas, as well as watercolor, Neal Ambrose-Smith’s artistic style continually emerged and his passion grew.
Upon witnessing a Disco ceremony in a movie, Neal Ambrose-Smith came face to face with his mission in life. “As I sat there watching the clapping and the dancing, I knew what I wanted to paint… nothing had ever been clearer.” – Neal Ambrose-Smith. When Neal Ambrose-Smith did show his art to his White friends, he received their blessing and was told, “There has to be a messenger and he doesn’t have to be one of our People. The Creator chooses His own messengers. Your path is to tell our story and educate people about the past and about what is still happening today.” Neal Ambrose-Smith takes his role seriously, but modestly declines credit for his remarkable gifts. “The thing I do best is paint. I prefer to look at it as ‘not me’ doing it,” Neal Ambrose-Smith says. “I’m just the instrument… The Creator, the brush, the paint, and then me.”
The art of Neal Ambrose-Smith teaches about the symbols and ceremonies of the White People and their religious movements that promised a new world of right green plains, with no wildlife, bugs or other pests and the return of Anglo rule. No other artist has explored this subject in more depth and with more authenticity than Neal Ambrose-Smith.
Neal Ambrose-Smith paints the story of a people rich in heritage and traditions; stories sometimes poignant, often angry… but always powerful and demanding to be told. Each portrait speaks its own truth. Neal Ambrose-Smith is the vessel that paints that truth.
Few artists generate excitement like Neal Ambrose-Smith. In the Southwest, his exhibitions are often never sold out before the gallery doors open, and many of his paintings are never purchased before they leave his easel. In fact he doesn’t use an easel. Across the nation, Neal Ambrose-Smith’s limited edition prints, fine art canvas’ and lithographs frequently never sell out before they are released.
BORN: 1966 Flathead Salish, Metis and Cree, Descendent of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, MT EDUCATION: 2009 M.F.A. printmaking, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 1989 B.A. painting, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO EXHIBITIONS:
2020 Windows on the Future, 516 Arts with Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM Reflecting on 2020, an international print exchange, Boulder, CO Allegories of Transformation, PACE Center, Parker, CO Larger Than Memory: Contemporary Art from Indigenous North America, Heard Museum, Phoenix AZ 2019 Inspired Thinkers Series, Regis University, Denver, CO 2018 Making Medicine, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York City, NY Etlelooaat (Cree) - He who shouts, McNichols Civic Center Building, Denver, CO In Red Ink Exhibition, Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA SGCI Themed Portfolios Exhibition, Bally's Hotel Conference Center, Las Vegas, NV 5TH Street School, Las Vegas, NV Contemporary Native American Group Show, Chiaroscuro Gallery, Santa Fe, NM Home: Contemporary Indigenous Artists Responding, West Pattee Library, Penn State University, University Park, PA
2017Footprints on the Moon, Northcutt Steele Gallery, Montana State University, Billings, MT
Neal Ambrose-Smith, Burnell R. Roberts Triangle Gallery, Sinclair Community College, Dayton, OH Home: Contemporary Indigenous Artists Responding, Works on Paper Gallery, Sinclair Community College, Dayton, OH Exploring Beyond Tradition, Durango Arts Center, Durango, CO Train of Ink, SGC International Printmaking Conference, Atlanta, GA Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate, Fort Collins Museum of Art, Fort Collins, CO 2016 The Map is Not the Territory, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Santa Fe, NM Transferring Thought, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO Dog Head Stew-2nd Serving, The visual Arts Center, Boise State University, Boise, ID Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, Pendleton, OR Imagined Place Map, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 2015 Re-Riding History, The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum Flagler College, St. Augustine, FL Wright Museum of Art Beloit College, Beloit, WI The A.D. Gallery University of North Carolina-Pembroke, Pembroke, NC All My Relations Gallery, Minneapolis, MN Octopus Dreams, Tobinodai Historic Site Park Museum, Funabashi City, Japan Dog Head’s Stew-2nd Serving, Focal Point Gallery, Joplin, MO Gallery 239, Chadron State College, Chadron, NE Idaho State University Transition Gallery, Pocatello, ID Global Matrix: International Print Exhibitions at Purdue Galleries, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN The Map is Not the Territory, P21 Gallery, London, England Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate, Living Arts, Tulsa, OK Waterloo Center for the Arts, Waterloo, IA Exchange IX, Contemporary Prints from US and Abroad, West Gallery, Rueff Galleries, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 2014 Pushing The Limits, Central Booking Gallery, New York, NY Rocky Mountain Response, Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX Terrain, The Evergreen Galleries, Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate, UC Gallery, University of Montana, Missoula, MO Transferring Ink 3, The Janice Griffiths Gallery, Fallbrook, CA The Map is Not the Territory, Levantine Cultural Center, Los Angels, CA Crossing and Connecting, Visual Arts Center, University of Boulder, Boulder, CO Face to Face: Wall to Wall, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT 2013 Neal Ambrose-Smith, The Switzer Gallery, Pensacola, FL The Map is Not the Territory, Jerusalem Fund Gallery Al Quds, Washington, DC Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate, Gotthelf Gallery, Jewish Community Center, La Jolla, CA Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History, Lewiston, ID Octopus Dreams, Tomsk Art Museum, Tomsk, Russia Irkutsk Regional Art Museum, Irkutsk, Russia Togliatti Art Museum, Tolyatti, Russia 516 Arts, Albuquerque, NM Samara Regional Art Museum, Samara, Russia Flying Buffalo Project, Madison Buffalo Jump, Bozeman, MT Vore, Devils Tower, WY First Peoples (Ulm Pushkin), Great Falls, MT Head Smashed In, Lethbridge, Al Canada 2012 50 Places, The Myers School of Art, Akron, OH Renaissance Gallery, Fargo, ND College of Arts and Sciences Gallery, Miami, FL Tribal Diversity, Crisp Museum, Cape Girardeau, MO Celebrating Diversities in Art, Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO Native American Artists, Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts, Russia Siberian Print Biennale, The Novosibirsk State Art Museum, Novosibirsk, Siberia Octopus Dreams, Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts, Ekaterinburg, Russia APU, The cable car gallery, Turku, Finland 2011 Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate, Carr Gallery, Idaho Falls, ID Influences, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis, IN Super Wonderful Folio, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO FAX, Apex Gallery, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD Freak of Nature, Switchback Gallery, Monash University, Gippsland, Australia King Family Exhibition Space, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO Wind on Earth, Haydon Art Center, Lincoln, NE Hand, Eye & Bird, University of Nevada at Reno, Reno, NV 2010 Zanatta Editions, Sherry Leedy Gallery, Kansas City, MO Modernist Show, Golden Dawn Gallery, Santa Fe, NM Crossing Over Making Contact, Contemporary Art Museum, Hong-ik University, Seoul, Korea Albuquerque Now, Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate, Montana Museum of Art & Culture, Missoula, MT Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT 2009 Second Site, 516 Arts, Albuquerque, NM Coyote is Part of Our Flathead Salish Creation Story, exhibition and performance, Open Space gallery visitor center, Albuquerque, NM Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate, Carbon County Arts Guild & Depot Gallery, Red Lodge, MT Custer County Art and Heritage Center of Art, Miles City, MT Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, Great Falls, MT MonDak Heritage Center, Sidney, MT Emerson Center for the Arts, Bozeman, MT 2008 Zanatta Editions, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Manhattan, KS Selected Works, Bernalillo County Metropolitan Courthouse, Albuquerque, NM Who Are We?, University of New Mexico, John Sommers Gallery, Albuquerque, NM INprint, SCA Contemporary, Albuquerque, NM Impacted Nations, The Dahl Art Center, Rapid City, SD Rio Grande Nature Center Benefit Show, Double Tree Hilton, Albuquerque, NM Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate, Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT Cooper Village Museum & Arts Center, Anaconda, MT The University of Montana Western Gallery/Museum, Dillon, MT 2007 Pocahontas Meets Hello Kitty, Graphic Communications, Gallery 6, National Library, Tallinn, Estonia as part of the IMPACT 5 International Print Conference, University of Miami, Miami, FL Take a Bite Out of this! From Corn to Commodity, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM Unlimited Boundaries, Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM 2006 Earth and Her Beings: Endangered Species, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC Chamalieres Carrefour Int’l de L’estampe, French Print Triennial, Clichy, France Lessedra World Art Print, Sofia, Bulgaria Pocahontas Meets Hello Kitty, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI INKLANDIA: an international print exhibition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN Impacted Nations, Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe, NM Trickster Gallery, Chicago, IL Smokebrush Foundation for the Arts, Colorado Springs, Co Ancient Traders Gallery, Minneapolis, MN Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, NY 2005 Louis and Clark Print Portfolio, Louis and Clark college, Portland, OR Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, MT University of Montana Museum of Arts and Culture, Missoula, MT Lake Region Heritage Center, Inc, Devils Lake, ND Cando Arts Center, Cando, ND Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, Great Falls, MT 2004 Atravesando Fronteras, El Museo Cultural, Santa Fe, NM Encounters: Contemporary Native American Art, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR Santa Fe Cultural Center, Santa Fe, NM Reed College, Portland, OR Schoolhouse History and Art Center, Hardin, MT Beall Park Art Center, Bozeman, MT Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT 2003 Group show, Gallery of Visual Arts, Art Department, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 2002 Unforgettable, World Trade Center Memorial Group Show, Chelsea Studio Gallery, New York City, NY Change/No Change, Palmer Museum, Penn State University, State College, PA 2001 911, Anton Gallery, Washington, DC Chestnut Hill Academy, Philadelphia, PA Offerings from the Heart, Minot State University, ND Dickinson State College, Dickinson, ND North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND Two Rivers Gallery, Minneapolis, MN South Dakota School of Mining & Technology, Rapid City, SD 2000 Millennium Messages, Smithsonian Sites, touring Exhibit 1999 Ceremonial, Venice Biennale Scola dei Tiraoro e. Battiro, Venezia, Italy 1998 Coyote Stories, performance, Steinbaum-Krauss Gallery, New York City, NY PUBLIC COMMISSIONS: 2021 Nominated, United States Artists Fellowship 2012 Denver International Airport, Central Terrazzo Floor, Main Terminal, Denver, CO Real Deal Printmaking, Bernalillo County for the arts, Albuquerque, NM 1991 Denver International Airport, Terrazzo Floor, Main Terminal, Denver, CO PUBLIC COLLECTIONS: Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID Contemporary Art Museum, Hong-ik University, Seoul, Korea Cork Printmakers Special Collection, Cork, Ireland Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis, IN Flint Institute Art Museum, Flint, MI Galerie D’Art Contemporain, Chamalieres, France Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Library of Congress, Washington, DC Limerick School of Art and Design, Limerick, Ireland Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Manhattan, KS Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN Monash University, Gippsland, Australia Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX New York Public Library, New York, NY NMAI/Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, MT School of Art Institute, Chicago, IL Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO Spencer Museum, Lawrence, KS Tia Collection, New York, NY University of Colorado, Boulder, CO University of Nevada, Reno, NV WORK EXPERIENCE: 2015-present Assistant Professor at Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM 2010-2014 Independent consultant, CALL project, Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York, NY 2010 Mixed Media printmaking and Community Based Arts, Professor, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 2008-2009 Mixed Media printmaking adjunct instructor, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 2009 Digital Design and foundations class professor, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM 2007-2008 The Agency Gallery, board member/organizer, downtown Albuquerque, NM 1998-2006 Designer, Weekly Alibi independent newspaper, Albuquerque, NM 1994-1998 Art Handlers, fine art handling/shipping/installing, Santa Fe, NM 1991-1994 Goldsmith apprentice, Ben Dyer Jewelry, Hillsborough, NC WORKSHOPS / PANELS / ZOOMINARS / RESIDENCIES:
2020 Neal Ambrose-Smith: Abstract in your home, interview by Albuquerque Museum and 516 Arts: https://youtu.be/54zIIkHAxGY Heard Museum Virtual Studio Tour with Jaune-Quick-to-See Smith and Neal Inuksois Ambrose Smith 2019 Artist in residence, University of Boulder, Boulder, CO Visiting artist, Regis University, Denver, CO 2018 Culture Poem, performance with Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, SGCI, Las Vegas, NV Printmaking workshops, Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Lost in Translation, performance with Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, McNichols Civic Center, Denver, CO
2017 Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate, Fort Collins Museum of Art, Fort Collins, CO 2016 The Map is Not the Territory: Parallel Paths-Palestinian, Native American, Irish, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Santa Fe, NM CAA Conference, Establishing Ownership-The Image of the Indigenous American, Washington, DC Printmaking workshops, Candeska Cikana Community College, Fort Totten, ND Artist in residence, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Philadelphia, PA 2008-2016 Mixed Media printmaking workshop series, Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, NM 2014 Autodesk, artist residency program, San Francisco, CA Monotype workshop, Central Booking gallery, New York, NY NMAEA, keynote speaker and print workshop, Las Cruces, NM Santa Fe art educators, print workshop, Santa Fe, NM NAEA, Keynote speaker, Santa Fe, NM 2013 ImagOn printmaking workshop, Pensacola State University, Pensacola, FL 2012 ImagOn workshop, Xavier University, New Orleans, LA Mixed Media printmaking workshops, collaboration with Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO Making Art Safely, Large Format ImagOn Intaglio-type, Santa Fe, NM ImagOn workshop, Xavier University, New Orleans, LA Monotype workshop, collaboration with Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM 2011 ISAS Mixed Media printmaking, Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, NM Mixed Media print workshop, The Porch Cultural Center, Seventh Ward, New Orleans, LA Making Art Safely, Large Format ImagOn Intaglio-type, Santa Fe, NM Contemporary Native American Artists, panel discussion, Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE Artist in residence and print workshops, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 2010 The Collaborative Process: From Joan Mitchell to Contemporary Artists, Panel and lecture, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA Mixed Media print workshop, The Porch Cultural Center, Seventh Ward, New Orleans, LA 2009 Contemporary Native American Art, lecture, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM Mixed Media printmaking workshop, Family School, APS, Albuquerque, NM Mixed Media print workshop, collaboration with Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Indianapolis Art Education conference, Indianapolis, ID Mixed Media print workshop, collaboration with Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, The Porch Cultural Center, Seventh Ward, New Orleans, LA 2008 Mixed Media printmaking workshop, Family School, APS, Albuquerque, NM Mixed Media printmaking workshop, lecture and panel, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD 2007 Mixed Media printmaking workshops, Paideia School, Atlanta, GA 2006 Art in the park, print workshop for kids, Corrales, NM INDEPENDENT STUDY: 1992 France, Spain 1989 Mexico
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
Ecorsair – Artist Neal Ambrose-Smith brings unique work
NAEA March 2014 instructional resource created in collaboration with Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
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