August 2, 2008
Huge Sculptures Stolen From Art Studio
By Katie Farrell, The Daily News of Newburyport, Mass.
Aug. 2--AMESBURY -- A local sculptor and his wife are wondering how thieves made off with two large steel sculptures that sat in front of their Cedar Street art studio for years.
The two large steel cubes -- weighing about 300 pounds each -- were stolen from the prominent spot in the yard sometime late Tuesday night or early Wednesday. The Cedar Street neighborhood is a tightly populated area that includes The Lofts at Clarks Pond condominium complex across the street.
Eric Andersen, 58, a painter and sculptor, made the sculptures -- large steel cubes made to look like a quilt or quilted pillows -- more than 15 years ago. They probably took 100 hours each to make, said his wife, Barbara Mangini. She is also a painter and has created landscape scenes, murals and portraits.
"We just think that maybe several people lifted them up and put them on a truck," Mangini said.
Andersen and Mangini are working with Amesbury police hoping to find the sculptures. Mangini said one reason someone may have taken them was to bring them to a scrap yard to sell the steel.
Andersen moved into the studio building, owned by Barbara Lorenc, four years ago. As a way to draw attention to the building and as a symbol for the arts community, he placed two sculptures in the front yard.
Since the sculptures are meant for the outdoors, it was a natural move to put them outside the building.
"It's nice for the studio," Mangini said.
Lorenc said she has received inquiries from people looking for scrap metal.
"I've always loved those things," Lorenc said. "It was devastating; it was like an old friend being taken away."
Lorenc questioned how someone could move them and said she had been considering working with Andersen to mount the sculptures.
"It's very distressing. I have to beef up my security around the building," she said.
There have been no break-ins or thefts inside the building, she said.
The officer-in-charge at the Amesbury Police Department could not be reached for comment yesterday.
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