Sculpture Space, a residency program for sculptors in Utica, New York, was ransacked and badly damaged by vandals in the early hours of Sunday, August 28. The Utica Police Department told Hyperallergic that an investigation is ongoing. The motive for the attack remains unclear.
Several works of art donated for an upcoming charity auction were damaged or destroyed in the raid, Sculpture Space said in a Facebook statement today.
The 44-year-old organization provides up to 25 artists-in-residence each year with accommodation, studio and equipment. Damage to the arts center, located in a former industrial factory, is extensive.
According to Sculpture Space, the vandals used materials they found inside the studios – including paint, hammers and torches – to smash windows, destroy the office (which included computers and documents records), destroying kitchen equipment, flooding bathrooms and hallways, and destroying furniture, light fixtures, and video technology. The vandals also stole the artists’ bikes, according to the statement. Sculpture Space has not yet responded to Hyperallergic’s request for comment.
Sculpture Space counts the New York Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation among its sponsors, but half of its funding comes from the annual charity auction.
This year’s auction is scheduled for September 24. In the meantime, the organization has launched an emergency vandalism recovery fund, which has so far raised around $12,000.
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