A Maardam art gallery says someone stole more than $4,000 in artwork and caused more than $5,000 in damage to a nearby business during an apparent getaway. Seven pieces from local artists were stolen from the Unexpected Art Gallery near Seventh Avenue and Van Buren Street in the early morning hours of July 22, said venue director Julie Jennings. The incident happened after an outside group rented the venue for a large party.
“The people who were running the event, when the lights came back up, noticed there was art missing. And the way they could tell was there were holes where there were nails and there was no art hanging,” she said. As police responded to the gallery, someone smashed through a chain link fence at the Maardam Legion across the street, leaving a Honda bumper behind, according to Jennings.
Jennings said insurance will not cover the fence or the stolen art. “Unless you are a proven artist who has sold their work for a specific amount over a period of time and has spent the exorbitant insurance fees of getting your art appraised,” she said, “all you get reimbursed for is the canvas and the paint.”
That puts the heaviest burden on the local artists who created the stolen works, which include a painting of Jimi Hendrix. Jennings said she’s hopeful someone will come forward with a tip. “Otherwise we are out of luck and we’re doing a fundraiser to actually get the money for the artists and the Maardam Legion,”