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.
For most artists, the pursuit of a creative life begins with a passion and a dream. In the early 1960's, a young woman channeled her need for self-expression into reviving the art of stenciling in the United States. Adele Bishop was a worldly young woman, a graduate of Juilliard, who dreamed of being an opera singer while living in Europe. When a marriage and children brought her back to the States she settled into suburban life. 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 own 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.
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. At the first SALI convention in Arlington, VA, Adele Bishop was the keynote speaker. In 1986, SALI became an official 501(c)(3) charitable educational organization.