While police continue search for sculpture vandals, community works to protect downtown art

The "Duck Parade" statue missing the last duckling in the row on display in downtown St. George, Utah, June 6, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Marianne Hamilton, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — One month after several Art Around the Corner installations were vandalized in downtown St. George, police are still looking for the culprit.

St. George Police officer Tiffany Atkin said there has been no new information since the most recent instance of vandalism, when the “Duck Parade” sculpture was damaged in early June. The Police Department examined closed-circuit TV footage from the area, but Atkin said the art installation piece was not in the frame of the camera.

Since the early-April debut of this year’s Art Around the Corner installation, there have been three instances of vandalism.

The first vandalism occurred weeks after the launch when “Continuum” was bent in half. Shortly after, “The Seventh Archangel, Who Governs Saturday” – a sculpture that depicts a winged angel with gold coins wrapping around his leg – had each of the gold coins chipped off, one-by-one.

In the case of the “Duck Parade,” Atkin said the last duck sculpture in a row of seven was taken or kicked off and is currently missing. The “Duck Parade” statue was originally valued at $5,500.

The “Continuum” statue is vandalized in downtown St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Marianne Hamilton, St. George News

Art Around the Corner Foundation Chair Marianne Hamilton said the “Duck Parade” has since been repaired and the “Continuum” was replaced by another piece by the same artist, called “Unity.” Art Around the Corner has since filed all of the necessary incident reports with the city of St. George’s risk management team.

Hamilton said the damage to the “Duck Parade” was less than $100 but that “there will be other costs associated with it.” The patina will need to be replaced on the exterior of the bronze sculpture, which was damaged during the repair.

Matt Clark, one of the local artists, has been helping with the repairs of all art pieces on display, Hamilton said, adding that out-of-town artists are thankful for the work Clark does to uphold the integrity of their art.

Hamilton said she is surprised by the vandalism, noting that the statues were relatively safe in past years.

To say that I’m heartbroken doesn’t begin to describe it; it’s virtually impossible for me to believe that we live in a place where people would even consider compromising the beautiful artwork loaned to us in good faith by generous, talented artists.

Art Around the Corner is working with volunteers who regularly check on the art on display around downtown St. George. Hamilton said she understands that children are sure to climb on the statues, which could result in damage, but the organization employs the help of volunteers to catch the damage early enough for it to be fixed quickly and as inexpensively as possible.

“If we see signs that something is happening, we want to catch that early so we can report it,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton welcomes those who notice any damage to the art on display to email [email protected]. Anyone with information regarding the vandalism is asked to contact the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @STGnews | @AvereeRyann 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!