SPOTLIGHT: What an artist leaves behind, despite Alzheimer’s

Posted in Feature, Spotlight, Visual Art

Artist Sarah Wallace at home on Whidbey Island in 2004. (Photos courtesy of Ivan Neaigus.

An artist has died, but her legacy lives on through her work and through the hope she provides by example.

The late, local artist Sarah Letitia Wallace will be honored with a show of her past and recent artwork, along with a celebration of her rich life, at the Fireside Room of the Bayview Senior Center from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. Wallace died peacefully in her home on July 31, 2012. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2001, but did not let that keep her from producing a prolific body of later work.

Wallace’s husband, Ivan Neaigus, welcomes everyone to join in the celebration and share memories of Sarah, and perhaps be inspired by the work she left behind to encourage others afflicted with Alzheimer’s to explore the healing effects of art.

The current body of work is thus complete, and adds to the final legacy of the artist. The show will include work Wallace made prior to 1984, before she moved from California to Whidbey Island. It will also feature works made between 1984 and 2006, rendered in watercolor, pencil, photography and mosaics, as well as the works she made in a series titled “Art-in-Transition” finished between 2006 to 2010. Those in the series, “Completion,” are the works Wallace created between 2010 to 2012 and will also be on display. The show will run until Oct. 26.

The work can be seen at Wallace’s website.

Since 2001, Wallace had been participating in “Time Together,” a respite program at the Bayview Senior Center in Langley. The program was an important part of her life and helped to provide her with a social connection.

Wallace’s colored pencil drawing, “Completion 38,” is from the last series of her life.

The “Transition” and “Completion” works are being reproduced in giclee prints, and are offered for sale in unlimited editions. Ten percent of proceeds from the sale of Wallace’s work will go to the “Time Together” program, and another 10 percent to Alzheimer’s research.

A buffet lunch will start at noon and the sharing circle at 1:30 p.m. facilitated by Dave Bieniek, the Spiritual Care provider of Home Health Care & Hospice of Whidbey General Hospital.
For more information, call Ivan Neaigus at 360-221-5361.

(At top, Sarah Wallace’s colored pencil drawing, “Completion 33,” is from the last series she did before she died in July.)

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