Zionsville artist celebrates 104th birthday


Zionsville Meadows resident Thelma Frame, a renowned local artist, celebrated her 104th birthday May 7.

Born in 1919, Frame spent her early years on a small farm near Hebron. Even as a child, she had a passion for drawing.

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Thelma Frame was born in 1919 in Hebron. (Submitted photo)

“As a little kid, I had a desk where I would draw random things,” Frame said. “I had no idea what I was doing, but I was always interested in art.”

During high school, Frame used her free time to explore various art forms, such as painting and wood carving. After graduating in 1937, Frame attended Indiana University to study elementary education.

“When I finished college, I became an elementary school teacher where I taught fourth through sixth grade,” said Frame, who taught in schools in Columbus, Merrillville and Richmond “I thoroughly enjoyed teaching, but art was always in the back of my mind.”

Frame started taking art lessons and participating in art shows about a decade before she retired in 1981. Her mediums include painting, pastels, drawing and woodwork. Her artwork has always been inspired by her love for nature and traveling.

“Sometimes, all it takes is looking out the window at a gorgeous blue sky,” Frame said. “I honestly like almost anything about nature except for cold weather.”

Frame finds pleasure in replicating old buildings, houses and barns that she has encountered in her lifetime. Her artwork has brought to life some of the places she has observed.

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Thelma Frame enjoys drawing and painting old buildings she has come across throughout her lifetime. (Submitted photo)

“The place I remember the most is Barrow, Alaska,” Frame said. “The buildings, climate and surroundings were all different. I like seeing how other people live and do things.”

Frame has been a resident of Zionsville Meadows for two and a half years. She spent most of her life in Columbus before moving to Zionsville to be closer to family. She keeps herself occupied by assisting with crafting and organizing activities for the other residents. She conducts a weekly Bible lesson.

“I like to stay busy mentally and physically,” Frame said. “Researching for Bible study and new activities keep me occupied.

Activities assistant Pat Brooks appreciates the assistance provided by Frame in developing new crafts for the residents to engage in.

“She has an imagination that will not quit,” Brooks said. “She can pull ideas out of thin air. Her experience as a schoolteacher and her God-given ability help her create new ideas.”

Besides creating artwork, Frame enjoys reading and spending time outside. She values quality time with her loved ones, including two nieces and two great-nephews.

Some of Frame’s artwork can be found at the Richmond Art Museum in Richmond. Her work is also on display at Zionsville Meadows.