Police are asking for the public's assistance in catching the vandals behind a smashed sculpture.
The sculpture is part of the “Art and Soul” Pueblo Street Gallery. It’s located at 3rd and Santa Fe near the Chamber of Commerce office and the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center Children’s Museum in Pueblo.
Downtown Association members tell 11 News this is not the first time one of their 33 artworks around town has been destroyed. But they are hoping it will be the last, or they say they may have to come down.
The piece called “Perception of Freedom” is made of concrete and was smashed in half by vandals. They sculpture was valued at $5,000 and was created by the artistic hands of Janet Sellers from Monument.
Peggy Willcox with the Pueblo Downtown Association tells 11 News that the artist is very upset about this. Willcox said it is sad to see this type of destruction, especially for something that is offered to beautify the community.
Community members are upset, calling this act a disgusting regard for the community.
“I hope they get the person and make them clean around the area here and help put it together again and maybe they will appreciate art better,” said Pueblo Resident Cecilia Guerrero.
“It’s sad that they do stuff like that around here, or anywhere but especially right here. This is artwork and should not be destroyed,” said Pueblo Resident Arnold Gallegos.
Those who works at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center are especially frustrated to see something so beautiful destroyed for seemingly no reason.
“That person is making a comment about our community that they don’t want to live in a place where there is beauty but we want to live in a place where there is beautiful art and things for kids to do, and arts for everyone,” said Gary Holder, Curator of Education for the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center.
The workers say these pieces of artwork are the livelihood of the artists and that these pieces are one of a kind. They hate to see all the hard work be thrown on the ground by a thoughtless vandal.
“We work so hard in our community to share art with the community and show them that it is an important part of everyday life so when something like that is destroyed, it’s a huge statement that the community has to react to,” said Nicki Hart, Marketing Manager for the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center.
Artists from Colorado and New Mexico sculptors graciously loan their sculptures to the Downtown Association for the enjoyment of visitors and citizens of Pueblo. The pieces are not the property of either the Association of the City of Pueblo, but it costs the Association thousands of dollars to cover the loss whenever a piece is damaged or destroyed.
According to Tom Bruss, President of the Pueblo Downtown Association, this sculpture was discovered irreparably damaged last week.
Officials with the Downtown Association are asking for the public to pay attention and keep a watchful eye on what they call priceless artwork. They hope people can help stop these vandals in the act, and stop this artwork from being destroyed.
Pueblo Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for this. It may have taken more than one person to pull this sculpture down from its mounting.
Bruss said, “We need to continue to keep Pueblo a delightful place to live and visit. This is an inexcusable act and someone has to have information on the individual or individuals responsible for this damage.”
If you have any information on the damage to these sculptures you are urged to call Pueblo Crime Stoppers @ 542-STOP (542-7867) or visit our web site at www.Pueblocrimestoppers.com. Your information could earn you a cash reward.