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: Ardmoreite.comRenowned sculptor, city native dies 10/17/03
Internationally known sculptor and Ardmore native Lena Beth Murphy Frazier died Wednesday at her Norman residence following a lengthy illness. Frazier, the daughter of Hardy and Elizabeth Murphy, was 59. Having been awarded the Lew Wentz Art Scholarship, Frazier attended the University of Oklahoma.In a recent interview with "Edmond Monthly" magazine, she said it was during her freshman year at OU that she discovered sculpting.It was the art form that became her life's work and earned her her world-wide reputation. After graduating from OU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Frazier continued her art studies in graduate school for two years.She then taught art in secondary schools for six years before participating in the Artist-in-Residence program with the Oklahoma Arts and Humanities Council. Frazier, who sculpted primarily in bronze, described her artistic endeavors as "pure joy."Known for her ability to capture the essences of her subjects, Frazier gained a reputation that brought her more than 200 commissions for bronze busts.Her work has been displayed in numerous individual and group exhibitions. Frazier's sculptures are part of a number of notable public and private collections.Her work includes a bust of her famous rodeoman father, Hardy Murphy, which is displayed at Hardy Murphy Coliseum.In addition, Frazier created the life-size statue of Sylvan N. Goldman, which is in the permanent collection of the State of Oklahoma at the Kirkpatrick Center in Oklahoma City, the "Children's Memorial" life-sized sculpture displayed in the garden of the Oklahoma governor's mansion in Oklahoma City and a bust of Adm.In addition, Frazier was commissioned to create sculptures for the recipients of the Oklahoma Arts and Humanities Council's Governor's Arts Awards. The recipient of a numerous of awards and honors, Frazier also dedicated herself to promoting the arts throughout the state and enhancing the careers of other Oklahoma artists.She founded and served as president of the Oklahoma Sculpture Society and held board posts on the State Arts Council, The Friends of the Oklahoma Museum of Nature History and Aerospace Science and Technology Education Center in Oklahoma City. As well as creating an impressive number of sculptures, Frazier spent her life passing on her appreciation for art and her zest for living.She taught, both publicly and privately, for more than two decades, conducting workshops and giving private lessons at her Norman studio.And her annual booth at the Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts was a meeting place for friends and collectors alike. Frazier credited her parents with instilling her with the confidence that resulted in a lifetime of renown and treasured works of art.She told "Edmond Monthly" that her father encouraged her to be whatever she desired but to do her best. "He always told me I could be a ditch digger, just be the best ditch digger ever," Frazier told the magazine. She said her mother, creative and talented in her own right, also inspired her to follow her dreams. Frazier was also quoted as saying she hoped her work reflected her philosophy on life. "What's most important in the end is that we know all we have is given and only relationships are important.I hope my work reflects that," she said. Services for Frazier will be at 11 a.m. Monday at McFarlin Methodist Church in Norman. She was preceded in death by her parents.