His primitive folk art and his life were featured in many publications, including The Smithsonian.

Woodie Long was an icon in the South Walton art scene and beyond for decades before his death in 2009.

His primitive folk art and his life were featured in many publications, including The Smithsonian.

Since his death, Long's widow Dot has searched for loving homes for his body of work where she would feel at peace knowing that the pieces would be treasured.

"We're not here forever and it's very important to me to find a place for his artwork," she said.

Dot found a good home for 78 pieces of his work last week.

In 1999 and 2000, Woodie organized a collaborative project with some of his folk artist friends where they painted pieces collaboratively. These pieces were painted with the likes of Jimmy Lee Sudduth and Mose Tolliver and were never intended for sale, but only for exhibit. This collaboration also included folk artists from all over, Dot said.

"He was such a prolific artist," she said.

The collaborative collection has been featured at exhibits in Huntsville and Montgomery, and 17 pieces were displayed last year in Rosemary Beach. But, following her husband's desire and commitment that these pieces would be for exhibit only, these special pieces have been kept in storage most of the time.

However, the lot took up a huge space, and realizing that she is not going to live forever, Dot felt a burden to find a proper home for the pieces.

Dot recently found that home.

"I found a home for the entire collection," she happily told The Sun.

The more than 70-piece collection's new home is at Waterloo Center for the Arts in Iowa, where the pieces will become a part of the center's permanent collection.

Two men from the center came to Long's home last week and spent three days talking with her, learning about each irreplaceable piece of art, and wrapping each piece. Most pieces were smaller, but there are seven or eight larger pieces.

Dot said if the center does an exhibit, it will be a year out -- maybe next January.

"Woodie was well loved," she said lovingly of her late husband. "Many people would have liked to see the collection remain in the south. But when I found people who were enthused about the collection, it felt right."

Dot hesitated to even guess at what the collection is worth.

"It's a special body of work," she said.