by Shiva Rahimi
Two pieces of artwork were taken from the Admissions Office’s hallway in Miller Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 2.
Each picture is black on white and forms a detailed pattern of interwoven images and lines. They are each approximately 20″ high by 50″ wide with a black metal frame.
“Minds Eye II,” and “Minds Eye III,” the titles of the two pieces which were stolen, are the works of artist Peter Tovar. The artwork had recently been purchased for the University with the funding provided by the Office of Academic Affairs.
“The University is 107 years old and has never acquired an art collection of its own,” said Dr. Bill Cook, vice president of Academic Affairs.
“These pieces were an attempt to get art visible on campus so that people would be visually stimulated. It was also used to create a permanent collection for the University,” he said.
The artwork had been installed a week before the thefts occurred. Ruth Trotter, chair of the Art Department and professor of art said that people in Admissions noticed that the artwork was missing, but assumed that the Art Department had taken them down. Trotter said that once the department became aware of the situation, the remainder of the artwork in Miller Hall was removed.
Word got to Campus Safety on Friday, Sept. 11, and a police report was to be filed with the La Verne Police Department on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
John Lentz, director of Campus Safety and Transportation, said that they do not have any information on how the artwork was taken, but they are assuming that it was sometime during the day when the buildings were open.
“There are anti-theft devices on most of the artwork. However, the pieces that were taken did not have the devices,” said Lentz.
“The University wanted to get the artwork up as soon as possible for peoples enjoyment,” said Lentz. “It is unfortunate and a shame that these thefts occurred. We will continue to display artwork, but will have to take more precautions. The community is changing. Not just ULV, but the society as a whole.
The two prints had been displayed last fall in the Harris Art Gallery as part of “Que Vida! Selected Prints From the Collection of Self Help Graphics.”
“As an artist, it really distresses me that someone would steal artwork that is meant to enrich the cultural environment on campus,” said Keith Lord, art studio manager.
“The University supports cultural values in our mission statement,” said Trotter. “As an institution we are imaging the community. The act is contrary to the values of ULV.”
Contact the Department of Art at ext. 4282 about information that could help recover the artwork or contact Campus Security at ext. 4950.