Stolen art found

Stolen art found
Burnaby artist’s work is part of Haiti fundraiser on May 1

Janaya Fuller-Evans, Burnaby Now

Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Bob Garlick was relieved to find his art piece The Telephone Buddha leaning against a fence in his neighbourhood after it was taken from his home last week.

Garlick had been searching the area near Alpha Secondary, at 4600 Parker St., over the weekend. He found the piece about two blocks from the school on Sunday afternoon.

He was very relieved, as the artwork is going to be part of the One World Art Show and Haiti Fundraiser on May 1.

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Recovered: Bob Garlick’s work The Telephone Buddha.

Photo contributed/BURNABY NOW

Garlick was prepared to recreate the piece, if necessary.

“I think that’s why I found it,” he said, laughing. “The universe realized I was not giving up.”

The work was not damaged, though Garlick said it would not be an issue if it was, as it is a distressed piece and had been left out in the elements as part of the creative process.

The foundation for The Telephone Buddha is driftwood held together with rusty bolts. It displays a decayed wooden Buddha attached by copper wire to gold cellphones. The circular design represents the Wheel of Dhamma, an important Buddhist symbol.

The piece is Garlick’s commentary on consumerism and Buddhism in Thai society, according to a review by Thanom Chapakdee.

“With it, he simultaneously explains and criticizes Thai society and focuses our attention on the conflict between consumerism and Buddhism,” Chapakdee wrote in a review posted on Garlick’s website.

The piece represents the situation in Haiti, as well, Garlick said, because it is rough and distressed.

While other artwork in the show will be in good condition and reflect reality in Canada, he believes his reflects the reality in Haiti after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Caribbean island nation last January.

“It is a little out of sync with the reality in Canada and more in sync with the situation in Haiti,” Garlick said.

Garlick is listing the piece at $10,000 and will donate half of that to Safewater Nexus if it sells.

One World is a fundraiser for Safewater Nexus, a non-governmental organization based in Tennessee that has been working in Haiti since the earthquake hit.

Matt Chambers, director and co-founder of Safewater Nexus, is slated to speak at the fundraiser.

All proceeds from artwork auctioned at the event will go to Safewater Nexus, said organizer Monika Blichar. Ticket sales will go to Blichar’s company, Mab Ventures Inc. The company is raising funds for a community art centre in the future, she added.

One World has sold about 300 tickets so far, Blichar said. More than 40 sponsors are supporting the fundraiser.

The event will feature work from more than 60 artists, a body art competition, live art by Jim Cummins – also known as I, Braineater – and a silent auction.

An auction will take place at 11:30 p.m., as well, for some of the bigger ticket items.

Safewater Nexus was in Haiti six days after the quake hit, mobilizing specialty relief teams and distributing food, water, tents and medical supplies, as well as helping with evacuations.

The group is now developing intermediate and long-term rebuilding solutions, including a new village community, school, orphanage, church, clean water project, garden initiative, medical clinic and mission compound.

The Haitian government has reported that more than 200,000 people died in the quake and approximately one million were displaced.

The One World fundraiser takes place on Saturday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Science World in Vancouver.

Tickets are $25. Buy at or from Blichar by calling 604-999-6177 or e-mailing

© Burnaby Now 2010

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