Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Quest for the West artist Daniel Smith

by Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art | Aug 20, 2015

Scenes from the old West will come to life in paintings and sculptures that will fill the galleries of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, with the opening of the 10th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. In one gallery, the only gallery like it in the state of Indiana, visitors can see and be the first to bid on millions of dollars in artwork from 50 coveted Western artists.  Meet Quest for the West Artist Daniel Smith.
D Smith 2015

Daniel Smith
Born 1954, in Mankato, Minnesota; lives in Bozeman, Montana

Summer Sanctuary
2015, acrylic, 19 x 38 inches

Living in close proximity to Yellowstone Park provides ample opportunity to research bison.  This mature bull is seeking a reprieve from the late afternoon heat in the soothing cool water of the Lamar River.  It is truly a summer sanctuary.

AS ONE OF AMERICA’S foremost wildlife artists, Daniel Smith enjoys wide acclaim for his depictions of the natural world. Born in Minnesota, Smith now resides in Bozeman, Montana where the rugged peaks of the Gallatin Range are the only thing separating him from Yellowstone National  Park. He is inspired by his surroundings.  One of the most rewarding and inspiring elements of his work is the fieldwork. It is the genesis of all of his paintings. Smith is passionate about his subjects and travels frequently seeking artistic inspiration. Smith’s meticulous field research and insistence on directly observing the animals he paints is driven by a personal penchant to achieve greater authenticity.

Smith’s interest in art led him to pursue a career as an illustrator, but even then he spent his evenings painting wildlife, his first love. After winning the 1987 Federal Duck Stamp competition, he abandoned illustration and has been painting wildlife ever since. He is noted for his use of muted lighting, soft colors, and mist to enhance and exaggerate depth.

Because he feels indebted to the natural world that has been his sole inspiration, Smith uses his art to aid and endorse many conservation efforts. He has been chosen Artist of the Year by several conservation organizations. In addition, Smith was recently chosen to be the Featured Painter of the September 2011 Western Visions Show at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, WY.

Notable awards and achievements:
2013    Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Quest for the West, Victor Higgins Award
2013    National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Small Works, Great Wonders, Cynthia Post Buyer’s Choice Award (also 2012, 2011)
2011    Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Bob Kuhn Wildlife Award
2009    Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Quest for the West, Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award
2008    National Museum of Wildlife Art, Western Visions Show, People’s Choice Award
2007    Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Quest for the West, Artist of Distinction Award

Society of Animal Artists

Gallery representation:
Trailside Galleries, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Jackson, Wyoming
Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, Arizona 


Celebrate the best of the West and meet 50 of the nation's top Western-theme artists during the 10th anniversary opening weekend festivities for the Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Friday, Sept. 11 through Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis, IN.

Only registered guests may participate in opening weekend activities. Register now to join in the fun, make new friends, socialize with artists and seasoned and fledging art collectors, enjoy fine food and purchase art for your new or established art collection. For your convenience, four Marriott Place hotels are located directly across the street from the museum.

Register to participate in opening weekend festivities by purchasing a weekend individual or couples package.  If you are unable to attend but wish to buy art, you may purchase an absentee buyer registration to participate in the sale. Absentee buyers must submit purchase instructions and a credit card number to the Eiteljorg Museum by Thursday, September 3, 2015.  Please check the Absentee Buyer box.

  $250 Member; $300 Non-member
Package includes one Quest catalog and one bid book per registrant, plus participation for one in all Quest events.

$450 Member; $500 Non-member
Package includes one Quest catalog and one bid book per couple, plus participation for two in all Quest events.

Are you unable to attend the sale, but interested in purchasing art? Absentee buyers may participate in the sale by purchasing a bid book and catalog for $150. Additional bid books are available for $150 each. Limit three bid books per registrant. Absentee Buyer Instructions (Click to download)


For registration-related questions, or for credit card registration by phone, please contact Kay Hinds at (317) 275-1341 or e-mail Your Quest catalog and bid books will be distributed when you check in at the registration desk on opening weekend.


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