WATERTOWN, S.D. (KELO) — September is World Alzheimer’s month and studies show more than six million Americans are living with the disease.
We went up to Watertown to see how art from a South Dakota native is raising awareness about Alzheimer’s.
The Redlin Art Center houses the paintings of one of the most famous artists in South Dakota history, Terry Redlin.
In 1977, he launched his career as a wildlife artist. That came to a halt when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“He retired in 2007 because of that diagnosis, and unfortunately struggled with the disease for nine years,” Executive Director Julie Ranum said.
Redlin’s final painting, which took two years to finish, showed the effects of the disease.
“I also notice the detail, so many of Terry Redlin’s paintings were very realistic, the detail in the wildlife, every little blade of grass, everything looked very real. And when I look at ‘Evening on the Ice,’ to me it looks surrealistic. It looks almost like a fantasy,” Ranum said.
It’s because of Redlin’s diagnosis that the Redlin Art Center is working to raise awareness.
The Watertown Memory Care Walk will take place Saturday, hosted at the Redlin Art Center, and it’s all in an effort to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s.
Along with the walk, there is another way to support local people affected by the disease.
“The wine features Terry Redlin’s final painting, ‘Evening on the Ice.’ What is very special about this wine is that we only sell 100 bottles, so it’s very limited, and $5 from every bottle is donated to the Watertown Alzheimer’s Council,” gift shop manager Erica Caulfield said.
“As we combine his story with the stories of so many people out there struggling with the disease, it helps us give this disease and this struggle that he had even more meaning. If his story can help others deal with their situation that’s what he would’ve wanted,” Ranum said.
The Watertown Memory Care Walk is Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Redlin Art Center. There is no cost to participate.