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Mary Morez

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Mary Morez was born in 1946 near Tuba City, Arizona. Stricken with polio and rheumatic fever, she underwent several childhood operations. Adopted by Lawrence and Mary Keim. She attended the Indian School in Phoenix and went to the University of Arizona where she studied art. Among her mentors were Allen Houser and Oscar Howe. Widely traveled, broadly educated (both formally and informally), Mary Morez is a complex and articulate woman with strong views. "Everything I have learned over the years goes into my paintings: philosophy of the Navajo, the environment, religion…everything." Regarded now in art circles to be the subject of academic study, she works in many media forums and in many styles. Her work has been exhibited in a host of nationally recognized shows and received many first prize awards. She has been the subject of numerous profiles in books, newspapers and magazines. She has illustrated books, record jackets, posters and health care publications for the U.S. Indian Health Service. The "Mary Morez Style" has been a significant influence in the development of other contemporary Indian painters. Mary is survived by her Daughter Seila Bercier-Leise, son-in-law Chris Liese, her granddaughters Mary and Sara, and many friends. A service for the interment of Mary's cremains will be held on Tuesday September 28th, please call 602-274-5647 for details. Donations are being made to the Phoenix Indian Medical Center Auxiliary, 4212 N. 16th St., Phoenix, AZ 85016.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Sept. 26, 2004
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