This is the second time a painting of mine was stolen from my art exhibits this year – both were stolen from my solo shows at Entree Café Gallery in Fairfield Iowa, USA, which is in a busy section of town right across from the post office.
The paintings were uninsured. This is an unusual crime the first time and certainly the second time. I feel slapped and deeply complimented twice!
This is different than having someone else’s painting stolen that you didn’t create. To the extent that an artist gives birth to a painting, the thief of these paintings approaches kidnapping. They are my personal creations that I have labored over – they are like my children.
The first painting that was stolen took longer than nine months to create. – I started it seven years ago and just finished it this year. Both paintings are the result of years of studying and practice. I started doing art around age ten, when my school had me do three twenty-foot murals depicting historical events. I studied art in college. This is how I have been making my living for a long time.
I am pleading for the thief to communicate with me – I just want to know that my babies are ok. He/she could write to me: Suzanne Stryker, 2532 Glasgow Road, Fairfield, Iowa 52556 or email me at email@example.com. He could email me from library or somewhere where it could not be traced. I am not trying to trick the thief – I want him/her to know that I will drop the charges if he/she returns the paintings – just mail the paintings to the above address. Paintings are delicate so they need to be carefully packaged in thick layers of bubble wrap and double boxed.
Here’s why I think you can help me: The theory is that the thief does not live in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, because her/she could not display or sell the paintings without them being recognized.
Here’s how you could help me: spread the word that two paintings have been stolen, and ask if they have seen the stolen paintings anywhere or have any clues to please call me at 641-472-7767 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I posted pictures of the stolen paintings on my website http://www.paintyoga.com/ so people could see them again if they run across the paintings at a later date.
1) First painting stolen March 2007. (Colorful Abstract Acrylic Painting about 14 x 16 inches included the custom made gold frame. $500 value. Why did the thief steal that painting and not a nearby more traditional oil painting also by me that was the same size and priced twice as high? Was this due to personal preference or professional incompetence? Art Theft 101 would tell you to steal the most valuable paintings.)
2) Second painting stolen December 2007. (Delicate Watercolor of a Peach and Red Peony, measuring about 10 inches by 12 inches, including the white mat and silver frame. $200 Value.)
The policeman who I filed the report with, Patrolman Squires, phone number 641-472-4146 said that he can’t speak with the media. He said the county attorney, Tim Dille, 641-472-9201, handles the media. But when I spoke with county attorney, he said that he wouldn’t talk to the media about this case. You can try but it sounded like it would be a waste of your time.
I didn’t want to go to the police, but daily newspapers here wouldn’t cover the story unless I filed a report. I would hate to see the thief go to prison for this because he appreciates my art enough to take the risk of spending five years in jail and having this go on his record permanently. I want to give the thief a chance – I found out today that I am not required to press charges if I or anyone else except the police find the thief or if he returns the paintings. I will pay $200 to any one who has seen these paintings since their theft and helps recover them.
The total value for all of the paintings in my solo show where the first painting was stolen was about $11,100. The total value for all of the paintings in my solo show where the second painting was stolen was about $10,000.
Because this is such an unusual and personal theft, it brings up many thoughts and questions: Who would do such a thing and why & so forth. I have more information about this, if you are interested please email me or call me at 641-472-7767.
I hope you can get the word out as quickly as possible.
All I want for Christmas are my two paintings back.