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Local artist pleading for return of original artwork
Published Thursday, March 28, 2019 4:56PM MDT
An Edmonton artist says a brazen theft last weekend has left him without four original pieces of art and a hefty paycheck.
Grady Wallace was set up at the Edmonton Home and Garden Show last weekend, displaying some of his latest works.
Wallace describes the pieces, which he creates using paint, stencils, and sketches, as “all spray-painted, all very unique, all one of a kind.”
At the end of the show, Wallace stored the work away in a spot he believed was safe and secure.
“Show organizers said they were about to close for the night so I left things there. I was back at 8 in the morning and there was one painting left.”
Four of his pieces, appraised by a gallery at more than $14,000 dollars, had disappeared from the Expo Centre.
“It’s just rough because I just feel like that person just took a lot from me and it may just look like a painting or a piece of art to someone but I want them to know that is how I pay my bills.”
A fifth piece was found outside the building by security. Wallace speculates it was too big for the thief to carry out.
An employee for Marketplace, the company that runs the show, says she can’t believe the theft happened.
“In the 51 years that Marketplace Events has managed the Edmonton Home + Garden Show, theft from an exhibitor is unprecedented,” said Kristy Cairns.
The Edmonton Police Service confirmed officers are investigating.
In the meantime, Wallace is working on a massive mural in a new Edmonton brewery, trying to earn back some money lost in the theft while keeping a positive outlook.
“Something like this isn't going to slow me down, it just makes me hungrier and makes me want to create more artwork,” he said.
“Someone likes my work enough to steal it, I guess.”
With files from CTV Edmonton’s Timm Bruch