Aspen art saga takes another twist |

Aspen art saga takes another twist

John Colson
Aspen Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Paul Conrad/The Aspen TimesAndrew Scott of Aspen holds two paintings by local artist Hillary Glass at his store,, in the Mill Street Plaza on Wednesday. Scott said he was given the two paintings and is willing to give them back to the artist if it is proved they were stolen.

ASPEN, Colorado ” One of the paintings recently taken from the walls of an Aspen bank is hanging on another wall ” in a new retail shop at the bottom of North Mill Street.

The painting, by Woody Creek artist Hillary Glass, is one of two that were plucked off the sidewalk in front of the Thrift Shop on Hopkins Avenue last week by shopkeeper Andrew Scott.

Scott, who recently opened his store,, at 465 N. Mill St., said he has two of the paintings in the store, and one is hanging on the wall ” for sale. Although he hasn’t priced it yet, Scott said, “I was thinking, like, $600. I’d sell it cheap, ’cause I got it for free.”

The other one, he said, “I was thinking about keeping and hanging on the wall of my home. I dig her art.”

The paintings, and two others by Glass, were taken from the walls of U.S. Bank on Jan. 30. They were part of a show and were displayed in the bank through January, according to police.

Glass said she noticed the paintings missing Feb. 2, as she was preparing to retrieve them, and reported the matter to the police.

According to Sgt. Dan Davis of the Aspen Police Department, the investigating officer in the case will be meeting today with a man believed to know something about the removal of the paintings.

Police have declined to name any suspects in the case, although they have said that another painter, Robert Kerns, who also had pieces in the U.S. Bank show, is a “person of interest” in the matter.

The paintings apparently were taken down from the walls of the bank Jan. 30, according to Aspen police officer Rick Magnuson, by a man who allegedly told bank employees he was taking the artworks down in order to return them to the artists involved. Bank officials have refused to comment on the matter.

Apparently some of the paintings involved belonged to Kerns, some to Glass and some to another artist who Magnuson did not name. Glass said her four paintings had a combined value of $11,000.

The four paintings by Glass, as well as one by another artist, were given away for free on a sidewalk outside the Thrift Shop, a local second-hand store, apparently because of a lack of space to store or display the paintings.

According to some individuals who were in the store at the time, a dispute erupted on the sidewalk among two or more people interested in taking the paintings.

“They were just giveaway canvases, as far as they were concerned,” said local artist Gino Hollander, whose wife called from the store to ask if he wanted any of the framed works.

“I usually paint over ’em and start again, if they’re throwaway paintings,” Hollander explained.

But his wife went back to the Thrift Shop a little too late, he said ” the paintings already had been claimed, two by another artist and two apparently by Scott.

Scott said he is unsure what will become of the paintings. He said Glass is aware that at least one of the paintings is in his shop because she saw it hanging on the wall earlier this week and that he is willing to return them if asked.

Glass, 27, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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