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Professional Decorative Art Classes History.webp
   4 decades of decorative arts   

Adele Bishop passed away from cancer at the age of 68, leaving a rich legacy for future stencil enthusiasts.  Jane Gauss, co-founder of SALI, contributed the funds to establish the Adele Bishop Scholarship fund which supports an applicant's registration to an educational event each year.

In the 1990s, decorative painting became popular in the United States, attracting muralists, faux finishers, gilders, tole painters, and other decorative artisans to the art of stenciling. More companies began producing stencil lines while television shows and videos reached out to wider and wider markets of people interested in decorative finishing.  In 2008, the Stencil Artisans League Inc (SALI) became the International Decorative Artisans League (IDAL) to reflect the diversity of members' interests.  

Today, IDAL attracts both the professional decorative artisan and the enthusiastic homeowner. True to our roots, IDAL is here to provide educational opportunities and connected community support to anyone who also has a passion for pursuing a creative dream. So next time you hear that creative whisper say, "Follow me", you might find your path leads to IDAL.  You will be joining a rich legacy built on the artistic entrepreneurship of those who found a passion in something beautiful - stenciling.

Adele Bishop

The Inspiration

For most artists, pursuing a creative life begins with a passion and a dream. In the early 1960s, a young woman channeled her need for self-expression into reviving the art of stenciling in the USA. ​Adele Bishop was a worldly young woman, a Juilliard graduate who dreamed of being an opera singer while living in Europe.  She settled into suburban life when marriage and children returned her to the States. But there was still that creative whisper saying, "Follow me." So she did.  Adele discovered one of the oldest art forms in civilizations—stenciling. She read any books she could find on the subject and was soon making her custom designs to use in her East Hampton home. This passion flourished, and Adele started a custom stenciling business that soon involved hiring a partner, Cile Lord.  The two wrote, The Art of Decorative Stenciling and began producing mail-order kits for Do It Yourselfers.


The Founders

A small group of stencil enthusiasts met in 1984 to form the Stencil Artisans League, Inc (SALI) a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the art form of stenciling.   Adele Bishop was the keynote speaker at the first SALI convention in Arlington, VA.  In 1986, SALI became an official 501(c)(3) charitable educational organization.

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