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BOZEMAN - Frances Senska, a former art professor at Montana State University and called the "grandmother of ceramics in Montana," has died. She was 95.

Josh DeWeese, an art professor at Montana State, confirmed that Senska died on Christmas Day at her home in Bozeman.

Senska is considered one of the state's most influential artists and art teachers, and for helping shape contemporary ceramics.

DeWeese says Senska was a key figure in the development of modernism in the state.

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Senska was hired to teach at Montana State College in 1946 and soon developed a small ceramics studio.

During her prolific career Senska helped nurture Peter Voulkos and Rudy Autio, who became internationally known artists.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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