Missing Aspen paintings given away for free | VailDaily.com

Missing Aspen paintings given away for free

John Colson
Aspen Corresponden
Vail, CO Colroado

ASPEN, Colorado ” A Woody Creek artist is unsure who did it, but someone stole $11,000 worth of her artwork off the walls of a downtown bank in broad daylight last week, and the paintings apparently have been given away for free.

Hillary Glass, a painter who has a studio in Woody Creek, had paintings displayed on the walls of the U.S. Bank on Main Street for a month-long show in January.

But when she stopped by the bank last weekend and looked through the window, she noticed that her paintings were missing from the walls. The show, which includes other artists, was supposed to hang through January, and she had planned to go in last Monday to collect her art.

“I can’t believe the bank let someone other than me walk out with them,” she said Monday, referring to four paintings that have gone missing.

According to Aspen officer Rick Magnuson, police believe they know who took the paintings, but he declined to name the suspect while the investigation remains open and active.

Magnuson said that whoever took the paintings did so after talking with a bank employee, who was convinced the paintings were being removed at the request of Glass.

But whoever it was took them to the Aspen Thrift Shop, a second-hand store at the corner of Hopkins and Galena streets. Employees at The Thrift Shop, which Magnuson said lacked sufficient space to store or display the paintings inside, ended up putting Glass’ paintings outside bearing a sign advertising them as free art for the taking.

Two paintings were taken by an unidentified woman, and two were taken by an unidentified man, Magnuson said, adding that he hoped the recipients would bring back the paintings so they “can be returned to their rightful owner.”

A fifth painting left on the sidewalk for the taking, by an artist whom Magnuson did not name, apparently was left unclaimed and has been returned to the artist.

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