Nita Forrest was born in 1926 in Quesnel, B.C. After living in Vancouver, she moved to Victoria in 1950. Forrest was largely a self-taught artist, although she studied with Herbert Siebner, and she acknowledged the influence and support of Richard Ciccimarra and Maxwell Bates. From 1968-1972 she was the founder and director of the Print Gallery in Victoria, which served as a vehicle for contemporary artists including Jack Shadbolt, Tony Onley, Michael Morris, Donald Harvey, and many other Victoria artists.
Nita Forrest was one of the original members of The Limners group of artists. In 1981 her work was selected to represent Victoria in an exhibition, which toured China. In 1983 she was named an Honorary Citizen of Victoria.