(By Nick Schneider) [Order this photo]
She was 89.
Lanore lost a 12-year battle with Alzheimer's Disease, which robbed her waning years of her favorite pastime -- creating art.
"She was an inspiring woman who empowered people," her eldest son Bill Cady said after his mother's death. "She was a phenomenal artist who was decades ahead of her time with her calligraphy, a poem and her paint put together in piece of art."
There will be one final exhibit of Cady's art work in Indiana before her works from her book, "Houses and Letters," are packed up and shipped to a Eureka, Calif. art museum.
"When one of Mom's big fans, Kathleen Cavenaugh of Loogootee, found out that Lanore's famous originals, from her book "Houses and Letters," were leaving Indiana she contacted some of her friends and they've miraculously organized a Memorial Art Show at Oakland City University."
The exhibit will be on display Oct. 5-Nov. 9 with the reception Sunday Oct. 14 from 1-4 p.m. (CST).
Bill Cady will be telling a few stories and talking about his Mom's art at 2:30 p.m. (CST).
The 26 alphabet paintings by Lanore Cady are being donated to the Morris Graves Museum in Eureka, California.
"This Museum is run by the Humboldt Cultural Arts Council, Mom's favorite arts organization. She helped found it and was their art director for many years," Cady said. "Several months ago I met with the current director and she was amazed that John (Cady) and I still had these extremely popular paintings. When I told her that we were planning on donating them to her museum she was overwhelmed. Turns out they'd been trying to buy Lanore's art work for 20 years and had only managed to obtain two pieces. No one wants to give up Mom's art work."
Cady said he's happy that the paintings will end up at this special destination where they will be cared for and restored.
"They will totally restore the paintings and ensure they get the exposure they deserve. They were also very excited to learn we had additional copies of Mom's out of print book, 'Houses and Letters,' which is still very much in demand."
Cady received some exceptional help in preparing the paintings for display from several Bloomfield students.
Several weeks ago Bloomfield student Rose Decker was helping Cady clean up his Mom's studio in preparation for a visit from Oakland City University's Art Director, Roger Willis.
"As we unearthed the treasure of Mom's 26 original alphabet paintings, I exclaimed how long it was going to take me to take apart and thoroughly clean 30 years of bugs, leavings, and dirt from these beautiful paintings. That's when Rose first suggested that her Bloomfield Junior High Art Club might be able to help out. She followed up by suggesting the idea to her teacher Mrs. (Deb) Johnson, who was excited about the project."
In late September, Rose and three of her friends (Destiny Wilkerson, Megan Humphreys, and Jaide Vanhentenryck, who were spending the night with her), helped Cady load all 26 paintings into his truck and then joined the rest of their Art Club at the school for the daunting job of cleaning all 26 paintings.
"They did an outstanding job. It took all day ---- on a Sunday ---- but they carefully cleaned the frames, brushed off the originals, and cleaned all the glass at least three times, to once again bring out the beauty of these exceptional paintings," Cady said. "I would sure like to give credit to Bloomfield Junior High School student Rose Decker , who coincidentally helped her mother Sheila give such good care to Lanore for six years when John and I couldn't be here (in Indiana). Rose came up with the idea of her Art Club assistance when we uncovered the paintings which had been stored for 30 years up in the studio," Cady pointed out. "Under the leadership of their outstanding art teacher, Deb Johnson, they worked all day and did such a great job bringing the paintings back to life."
Johnson said she and her students were honored to help prepare the paintings for the Oakland City exhibit.
"It was Rose's idea," Johnson said. "She loved Lanore. The whole village of Scotland embraced that woman. She was the queen. She influenced a lot of kids. Rose used to go to her studio for lessons. Long story, short, she volunteered the junior high Art Club."
These were 26 alphabet pictures that measured two feet by three feet.
The pictures include a single letter of the alphabet along with paintings of older famous homes and scenes in the Humboldt County, Calif. area.
"These are old famous homes that people are still trying to buy from him (Bill Cady) because that is a picture of their homestead and some are no longer standing," Johnson explained.
Cady was very close to the Bloomfield art program.
She visited the classes once and Johnson said, "She was the very best speaker I have ever had in my classroom. I really stress for the kids to remember and honor and cherish any local artist that we have. So many knew of Lanore and her works and I think it is great to keep her legacy alive."
The Bloomfield Junior High Art Club has scheduled a field trip and will be at the reception to see Cady's artwork and take pride in their efforts.
"When Mom's sister, Aunt Nina, learned of their hard work she donated $500 to the Art Club. Mom so enjoyed visiting Mrs. Johnson's art students and would have really appreciated their efforts," Cady added.