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 Melinda Miles  (1944 - 2009)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: still life, landscape painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Melinda Miles Phister (1944-2009)

Born in Pasadena, California, on April 1, 1944, Melinda Lee Miles was the daughter of California landscape painter Don Miles and Elizabeth W. Miles, who soon divorced.  She grew up in North Hollywood, California.  Miles started drawing as a child.  At age 15, she began a modeling career from 1959 to 1965 which brought the means to attend the Art Center College of Design (then the Art Center School in Los Angeles). 

She then worked in advertising production from 1965-1973.  That year she began painting full time and studying the Russian impressionist, Sergei Bongart.  Melinda began exhibiting her work at the Riggs Galleries in San Diego in 1978.  In 1974 she married computer engineer, Montgomery Phister, Jr. and lived in Santa Monica, California.  They moved to Santa Fe in 1980.  Melinda began exhibiting with the Martha Keats Gallery in 1989.

Her work resides in many collections including the New Mexico Museum of Art.  In mid-life, Melinda pursued a long-standing interest in theater and in building things by returning to college in 1990 and earning a B.F.A. in technical theater from the College of Santa Fe.  She worked for several years building custom stage properties for various theaters in Santa Fe and Denver.  She retired from theater work after cancer surgery in 1996.  Engaging her life-long love for education and reading, Melinda served for some years as a tutor for the Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe.  Later, expressing her appreciation for elders, she served on the Santa Fe Living Treasures Committee.  Miles succumbed to cancer on September 4, 2009.

Information provided by Ralph Blunt.

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