Joy of Life Parade - Celebrating a lifetime of memories.
In 1953 Jim and Fran Gray took each other as man and wife.
On November 1, 2018, they celebrated 65 years!
Life has been an adventure for these two, moving their home a number of times, traveling to wonderful places in this country and around the world, and for Jim, painting a record of it all, to share with everyone.
However, he began painting these three canvases for his own joy and to record the memories of people and places he treasured, with little expectation that others would ever be drawn to them in the way that he was.
Jim lost his father in 1985 to Alzheimer's Disease, and at some point he began to
have concerns that he might follow his Dad down that same road one day.
By painting in the format of a Parade, Jim was free to use his artistic license to allow costume and background to capture entire stories in single images of the folks he dearly cared about. He never completely "finished", but there did come a time when he stopped painting on the Parade, as his own mind began to fail him with his memories slipping away. Again, it could be said that these paintings were created by Jim Gray for Jim Gray. Yet, at some point he realized that in order to preserve the memories his mind contained, it would be important to leave a key to unlock the treasure these canvases held.
By the summer of 2018, now living near son Matt and his family in Nashville Indiana, Jim's dementia had progressed significantly and, when Fran took a fall and had to spend four days recovering in the hospital, the decline of her own cognitive abilities accelerated. January 4th, 2019 marked the day that Jim and Fran moved into Jill's House Memory Care, 20 miles down the road in Bloomington. In the process of packing up those things that could not move with them, the key to that canvas bound treasure was found at the back of a bottom shelf in Jim's studio. Three clear plastic sheets with outlines and numbers, three sheets of yellow legal pad with corresponding numbers and names, and two spiral note books with many of the back stories that would bring the memories on these canvases back to life, not just for Jim, but for all of us.
The details of the nearly 75 people, places, pets, and particulars, are being discovered and recorded in the Blog we are posting on this web site. Visit the Blog here or use the link above in the menu bar. Likewise, if you wish to consider purchasing a set of these images, for yourself or as a gift to a Memory Care facility that is dear to you, you can click here or Shop Online at the top of the page and choose Nostalgia from the drop down menu, then choose Joy of Life Parade.