Lorena Phemister (1920-2005)

Lorena Phemister (1920-2005)

Phemister’s paintings reflect the influence of both the figural paintings of Pablo Picasso and the Regionalism of Thomas Hart Benton.

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Born in Indianapolis in 1920, Lorena Phemister attended the John Herron Art Institute from 1938 to 1943 and two years later completed her Masters at the University of Iowa. During the late 1940s, she taught at both St. Francis College and Mishawaka High School in northern Indiana, before returning to teach at her own high school alma mater, Indianapolis’ Arsenal Technical High School, in 1951, where she remained for the next thirty-three years. 

She was a respected and devoted educator, but welcomed the opportunity to exhibit her own work at local venues, such as the Hoosier Salon and the Indiana State Fair, up until the death of her father in 1956. At that point, she focused her energy solely on her teaching and retained most of her personal artwork until 2004, when the bulk of her collection was sold at auction for $25,000. Phemister passed away in Indianapolis just one year later.  

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