Theft of art in the park

Museum solicits help from community to find stolen sculpture

By Ixchel Sotelo
On February 14, 2020

 Photos courtesy of San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts:
The complete sculpture is displayed in the Museum before being placed in Sunken Garden Park. The fish ornament was cut and removed from the metal vines, which attached to the base.

 

An employee of the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts on Jan. 29 discovered a piece of a sculpture had been stolen from Sunken Gar­den Park.

“We were inspecting the park on Wednesday morning because there had been storms,” said Laura Huckaby, SAMFA assistant director and collections manager. “We asked the facilities manager to go over and check to make sure there was no storm damage.”

The loaned sculpture, titled “Life Aquatic” by Wesley Blossom of Colorado, is a figure of a fish swimming beneath a log among aquat­ic plants. Blossom brought the sculpture to San Angelo for the 2019 Sixth Biennial Richard and Pam Salmon International Sculpture Com­petition Exhibition. The fish, the central element of the sculpture, was cut off with a pair of wire or bolt cutters.

“The sculptor is honestly heartbroken,” Huckaby said. “He and his wife traveled all the way down here for the opening of the show in October. The part of the sculpture that was stolen is the core and the key idea to the whole thing. It was the part he built first and spent over four months on.”

The incident caused the museum to change from weekly park inspections to checking on the sculptures daily and sparked interest for installing security cameras.

“Exhibiting art in a public park that’s open to everybody at all hours, it’s the beauty of it, but it’s also the risk,” Huckaby said. “We can hope something like this won’t happen, but now that it has, we think it may make artists more reluctant in the future to participate in the show or even want to bring art to San Angelo, unfortunately. We’re hoping for the best, that it can be found, and resolved positively.”

If you have any information that could lead to the recovery of the sculpture, please call the San Angelo Police Department non-emer­gency dispatch at 325-657-4315.

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