Frazier is an artist and professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She received her BFA from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and an MFA from Syracuse University. She continued her studies through the Whitney Museum of Art Independent Study Program and was the Guna S. Mundheim Fellow for Visual Arts at the American Academy in Berlin.
Inspired by Gordon Parks, she uses photography to address issues of racism, deindustrialization, environmental degradation, and relationships between individuals and spaces. Her work was included in important major group exhibitions, such as the New Museum’s The Generational Triennial: Younger Than Jesus; Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale (2011) and the 2012 Whitney Biennial. She mounted a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in 2013 (A Haunted Capital).
Frazier describes her work as “the collaboration between my family and myself (which) blurs the line between self-portraiture and social documentary”. She grew up in Braddock, Pennsylvania, a town decimated by the collapse of the steel industry in the 1970s-80s, and her work often focuses on the notion that the plight of Braddock is a microcosm of virtually everywhere in its specific manifestation. Frazier links her narrative in the past in referencing the work of Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Gordon Parks, and brings it forward in time, recognizing that for one to appreciate and understand the contemporary portrait of a family or society, one must know the respective histories, and frequently they correspond.