Three weeks after her home was broken into, a BC artist is still uneasy after dozens of her paintings and her financial livelihood were stolen.
Gabriele Beyer of Osoyoos says she was not home when her home was apparently attacked the night of Nov. 10, when the crime was noticed the next day.
In all, Beyer said 46 paintings, two framed photographs, a driftwood sculpture of a whale and hundreds of hand-painted ties and bows were stolen.
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Beyer says her hand-painted silk ties and bows are her economic lifeline, giving her the freedom to paint. She says that each tie or bow takes hours from idea to finished product.
In all, she said 600 sample ties were stolen plus more than 200 ready-to-sell ties and more than 200 ready-to-wear loops.
“That’s how I live,” Beyer told Global News. “With the boxes (with ties) and the 46 paintings, it’s a pretty big load they’ve done.”
Asked if she thought the art outbreak was accidental or intentional, Beyer said she did not know but had read recent reports of other art thefts in western Canada.
“I think it was not accidental,” said Beyer, who said she had 75 paintings on the wall but that only her best pieces were stolen. “So someone had a really good understanding of art and knew what they were taking.
“I do not believe it was accidental. I have talked to many people and one comment was that it looked like a contractual theft. But I can not wonder who it could have been. I have absolutely no idea.”
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On Wednesday, Osoyoo’s RCMP issued a press release on the theft, asking for public assistance to hopefully recover the stolen items.
“This original work of art is of great sentimental value to the artist,” said Sgt. Jason Bayda. “It’s not uncommon for stolen art to travel far to be sold across the country or internationally.”
Meanwhile, Beyer hopes someone will discover her art or tie and notify police.
“I’m 53 and I feel where I’m most limited is time,” Beyer said, adding that art is time consuming and each artist has only so many masterpieces in him. “And not every piece you create is a masterpiece.”
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Beyer says her best work is a painting of two cowboy boots with spurs, which she titled Boots with Soul.
“It is one of my really good paintings. Yes, I’m going to paint more – I have no choice. Other people lose everything and I have lost everything so I have to do it again.
“You’re being pushed down, you have to get up and move on.”
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Beyer said it is important that she be notified of her stolen paintings and tapes in hopes that some will be recovered.
She also said her home, which was broken into, should be a warning to other artists.
“I was completely surprised. I never expected anything like it,” she said. “I think other artists need to be aware of the possibility that someone is out there, looking at them and maybe wanting to steal their art.”
If you have any information about this theft, or that could lead to the restoration of this work of art, please contact Osoyoos RCMP at 250-495-7236 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
The stolen items can be seen online.
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