Artist Orren Marion Mixer, son of Florence Motter and Orren Marion Mixer, Sr., was born on July 18, 1920, in Oklahoma City. After attending public schools, he graduated from Central High School and through the efforts of his high school art teacher, Grace Chadwick, obtained a scholarship to attend the Kansas City Art Institute from 1938 to 1940. He worked in graphic arts in New York, Oklahoma City, and Ft. Worth, Texas, before moving to San Diego, California, to work to work in an aircraft manufacturing plant. He returned to Ft. Worth in 1943 and soon joined the U.S. Navy. Stationed in Chicago, he was a visual aids graphic artist. In his personal time he painted Western scenes, and his first sales came through a Chicago sporting goods store. Discharged from service in 1946, Mixer brought his wife, Evelyn Leonard, whom he had married in 1941, back to Oklahoma, where he built a house and studio near Arcadia/Edmond.
Mixer became a well-known local Western artist during the 1950s and 1960s. Livestock, particularly horses, became his specialty, and his work graced the covers of Western Horseman, Quarter Horse Journal, Cattleman, and Oklahoma Today. In 1968 the American Quarter Horse Association commissioned Mixer to paint "the ideal American Quarter Horse," and six other breed associations followed suit. He depicted the ideal Pinto, Paint, Palomino, Appaloosa, Buckskin, and Pony of the Americas. Briefly retired during the 1980s, Mixer resumed his artistic productions in the mid-1990s, working from a studio near Arcadia. He died on April 29, 2008.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Orren Mixer," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Bryan Painter, "Arcadia Artist Starts New Painting Career," Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 23 November 1992.
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