Artist in Residence Biography: Laurha Frankfort
LauRha Frankfort has enjoyed a 30-year career as a multi-media artist. A native of New York, LauRha relocated to Arizona where she fell in love with the desert. Much of her time is focused on creating line drawings that capture the pure line of the three-dimensional body along with her love and respect of the female form. In addition to her art, she pursues many other life-long passions including music, teaching and healing.
At just nine years old, LauRha began playing clarinet before moving on to the saxophone and bass clarinet. She’s had some of the finest music teachers in New York City to thank for her Classical and Jazz training.
At 15, she began giving music lessons to students at the primary school level and continues to teach to this day.
Her love of art also began when she was a child. While exploring the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney, and many other museums of note, her grandfather taught her to appreciate the beauty of nature and to admire the work of the masters. At 13, she studied at the Art Students League where she learned the power of an “honest line.” Her love of art continued through high school and university.
Accepted into the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, LauRha was a Classical Clarinet major with a double minor in Jazz Sax and Print Making (Intaglio, lithography and silk screening). While at university, she added piano and guitar to her list of mastered instruments.
She returned to New York to study art at The New School, Parson’s School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She studied silk screening, children’s book illustration, graphic design, etching, figuring drawing and dyes and fabric sciences. During that same time, she continued to study music and play in clubs. She went on to hone her improvising skills while studying with renowned blind pianist and Jazz performer, Lennie Tristano.
At the age of thirty, she moved to Arizona where she discovered another passion – Qi Gong. Qi Gong emphasizes natural and holistic healing and is the technique of building, increasing and directing the energy of the body, mind and spirit. She continues to study with Qi Gong Grand Master Hong Liu and after ten years of instruction has become one of only five certified teachers in the Valley of the Sun. She teaches Medical Qi Gong at Scottsdale Healthcare, Doctor’s offices and other venues around the Valley.
LauRha incorporates all of her passions on a daily basis. She teaches music to students and plays in jazz bands throughout the Valley; she creates drawings focusing on the power of the female form; and she studies and teaches the ancient healing practice of Qi Gong.