Nine artworks by Northwest Territories artists were stolen from an Edmonton gallery on Wednesday, the gallery reported online.
The Alberta Craft Council, which was hosting the Crafted NWT exhibition, said on Instagram the break-in and theft had happened shortly after 3am on Wednesday.
The gallery asked followers to share news of the theft and images of the missing art on their own social media. The theft has also been reported to the Edmonton Police Service, the gallery said.
Eleven pieces of art were stolen in total, the majority made by NWT artists. The Alberta Craft Council said the downtown Edmonton building was also damaged and equipment taken.
The value of the NWT art pictured in the Instagram post announcing the theft reaches nearly $9,000. Jewellery by April Glaicar and Delia Cepoi, parkas and a baby bunting bag by Dorathy Wright, carvings by John Sabourin, and a bag by Michel Labine were targeted in the theft.
The Alberta Craft Council collaborated with the NWT Craft Council and NWT Arts on the exhibition, which showcases work from 20 NWT artists. Crafted NWT was set to run from February 6 to May 29, though it’s not clear if the theft will shorten that run.
“It has been a challenging year for artists. Following Alberta Health measures, our exhibitions have been closed to the public and our shop continues to operate at a limited capacity, which has negatively impacted our artists for over a year,” the executive director of the Alberta Craft Council, Jenna Stanton, was quoted as saying.
While the exhibitions might be closed to the public, it’s still possible to watch a virtual exhibition walkthrough on YouTube or click through the online exhibition. Art from the feature gallery is also available for sale online – although the stolen items are currently marked as “out of stock.”
“The unconscionable theft of artwork has further hindered artists who were already experiencing a challenging situation. We … are heartbroken, and we ask the community for help locating the stolen artwork,” said Stanton.
The Craft Council encouraged anyone with information about the theft to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or the Craft Council directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.