The phone call came without warning.
The person on the other end of the line told the elderly man that she was his granddaughter and had been in a car accident, and she needed money immediately.
He, thinking the call was legit, sent the money, and was left more that $4,000 in debt –– the victim of a fraud known as the grandparents scam. (The scam, which has targeted a number of local seniors, is when a caller phones pretending to be a grandchild who has either been arrested or in an accident and needs money wired to them.)
The victim’s real granddaughter, Leanne Cadden, was horrified when she found out what happened to her grandfather in 2010.
“I found out at Christmas. My big-hearted Gramps went straight to the bank without hesitation because he loved me so much. It was a beautiful act of kindness that needed to be honoured, and by doing so, replacing the money that he so generously gave,” she said.
An accomplished artist, Cadden, a former Queen Silver Star, gallery owner and first finalist for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year from Victoria’s Chamber of Commerce, wanted to do something to help her grandfather recover from his financial loss. After returning to her hometown of Vernon last year after 14 years of being away, she came up with a unique way to honour him and bring attention to this form of elder abuse –– she started sketching.
The resulting Pencil Sketches for Gramps Show features 67 drawings of subjects, ranging from wildlife and florals to life drawing and portraits, and is Cadden’s largest body of work to date that is about to be launched online.
“This recent show is one of the largest challenges I’ve ever taken on in my entire life so far and after a year and a half of making it happen, I feel pretty good about releasing this body of work. It’s some of my best work ever,” said Cadden, adding she could never have achieved this calibre of show without the support of her hometown.
“Homegrown love from this community of family, friends and the kindhearted people of this wonderful place have allowed this show to grow freely. And so, as this show is a cultivation of a beautiful community, it is therefore being dedicated to Vernon with love,” said Cadden.
This is also the first show ever that Cadden is launching completely “virtual”, using social media sites and the web.
“I don’t know of many artists that have done this before to launch a major show but the thought of it is exciting,” said Cadden. “Instead of reaching only your immediate neighbours for a showing in the physical, the on-line launch has the potential to go viral and global. It’s a cool, new experiment for me and I have no idea how it’s going to turn out because I’ve never done it before.”
The Pencil Sketches for Gramps Show can now be viewed under Leanne Cadden on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and on the blog Theartofresourcefulness.com and at Leannecaddenart.wordpress.com.