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Click on the link for William "Willie" Murphy's Resume

    William Murphy, a self-taught artist, was born and lives in Crown Point, New Mexico which is the eastern agency of the Navajo Nation. With the exception of three years of art classes in high school, Willie, as he is better known, developed his talent and style by experimenting freely with oil paint medium and was also inspired by the works of several well-known Navajo artists.

    Willie recollects that during the late 1970’s when he was 28 years old, his employment was phased out by tribal politics and greed, which created hardships for his family. While seeking other employment and making ends meet by painting, his wife, Oleta began realizing the potential in his work. Oleta's own sense and ability to judge and criticize Willie’s work attributed to his success. The appreciation of his realistic landscape paintings from local buyers, family members, and friends was also a major force in his new direction in life.

    In 1992, he decided to devote himself solely to art. After approximately 20 years in the field of employment and training with the Navajo Nation, the demand for Willie’s work increased so much that he could not divide his time between work, art, and his favorite sport, rodeo. He was also a well-known rodeo cowboy in the Steer Wrestling event throughout the Indian rodeo circuit until 1991 when he suffered a career-ending knee injury.

    His artistic direction is recreating the peaceful days of herding sheep as a young boy and various times in the life of the Navajo. Willie became frustrated at times when local buyers would only glimpse and pass his paintings. Oleta encouraged him to be patient and counseled with him of his ambition to be one of the best southwestern artists. Willie’s dream is becoming a reality as he has started a collection of awards from art shows throughout the southwest, including the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market.

    When asked about his art career, he states, “It was hard at the beginning; I had to struggle everyday with the thought of whether, at the age of 28, I made a bad decision of changing my career”. “I used to enjoy assisting Navajo youth begin their careers”. “I am beginning to feel comfortable now with my career move and enjoy the demand for my artwork from around the country and internationally, although I sometimes worry when the gas prices go up! I also enjoy the thought that I was given the opportunity to discover my talent which, otherwise, I may have never touched”.

    When not painting, Willie divides his time between community land use planning work, watching his granddaughters play high school sports, and enjoying a rodeo to cheer on his sons, nephews, and brothers who also steer wrestle. Some compete in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

P.O. Box 201 Crown Point, New Mexico 87313          Phone: (505) 436-6175