BISMARCK, N.D. — The Redlin Art Center in South Dakota is putting the final painting by the late outdoors artist Terry Redlin on display to raise awareness about the disease that robbed him of his talent.
Redlin, famous for paintings of wildlife and outdoors scenes, died in April at age 78 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He had retired after being diagnosed in 2007.
The Watertown center will display “Evening on the Ice,” an ice-fishing scene, for 10 days beginning Friday. A live radio broadcast Friday morning will feature Redlin’s friends and family discussing his legacy.
His final painting, which he began in 2005 and failed to finish, has a different style, colors and level of detail than his other works, and reflects the difficult time in Redlin’s life, said Julie Ranum, the center’s executive director.
“It’s just very different from what we know he would have done if he hadn’t been struggling with Alzheimer’s,” she said Wednesday.
A version of the painting exists in the marketplace, but the Redlin family held onto the final version for years, unsure what to do with it. The display is in conjunction with the Watertown Alzheimer’s Council’s annual walk on Sept. 17, which this year is being dedicated to Redlin.
“(The family) saw this might be an appropriate time to share the painting and tell the story of Terry’s struggle, and to raise awareness about the disease,” Ranum said.
But the painting will not be permanently displayed.
“He was very much a perfectionist about his work,” Ranum said. “If he was unhappy with a painting, it was not uncommon for him to destroy it and move on.”
Redlin’s depictions of ducks, deer and rustic cabins adorn everything from coffee mugs to jigsaw puzzles. In the 1980s, he won Minnesota’s Duck Stamp competition twice and the state’s Trout Stamp contest once. Through most of the 1990s, he was named America’s most popular artist in annual surveys conducted by U.S. Art magazine.
Redlin’s art donations also helped raise millions of dollars for conservation work. The Terry Redlin Environmental Center opened in Watertown in 2010.
The Redlin Art Center museum, which features more than 150 of his works, has drawn more than 3 million visitors since it opened in 1997.
Redlin Art Center: https://redlinart.com/
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