Nearly $3,500 of original artwork was stolen from the Fernie Arts Co-op last week, leaving co-op members and artists in a state of shock.
The RCMP responded to the theft, but there are currently no leads.
“It’s really unfortunate,” artist Judy James said adding her initial reaction was, “shock, first and then after that you get mad that someone would actually do that.”
The local wildlife artist’s $2,000 grizzly bear painting on slate was stolen from the store — a piece she said took over a year to create.
James has since removed her artwork from the store.
Co-op member Jeanne Parker said she believes the two artworks were stolen on separate days.
The other stolen piece was a bear sculpture that artist Brad Dunn carved from Revelstoke stone, weighing in at around 10 lbs and valued at $1,190.
“It was sitting right on the till, right where we could see it so that nobody could steal it,” Parker noted adding, “We don’t have cameras, we will get them now.”
James and Parker both agreed that the pieces are irreplaceable.
“They’re unique,” Parker noted. “They’re one of a kind.”
James is asking for the publics help in identifying the art thief, and offering a $200 reward to whoever comes forward with the piece.
More details can be found on the Fernie Arts Co-op Facebook page.