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Jackson Square artists mourn loss of artwork following Jan. 31 theft

1 year 2 months 2 days ago Friday, February 07 2020 Feb 7, 2020 February 07, 2020 8:55 AM February 07, 2020 in News
Source: WWL-TV
Photo: The Advocate

NEW ORLEANS — Jackson Square is known for its artists, who often sit with easels outside of the Square's iron fence, painting or drawing portraits.

But according to WWL-TV, on Jan. 31 someone broke into the artist's storage area, stole more than a dozen carts, and tossed much of the artwork into the river. 

Bob Clift, a portrait and watercolor artist, spoke to WWL-TV about how he felt when he discovered that his cart, easel, toolbag, and samples had been stolen.

Clift described his emotions, saying, "It's anger and grief and pain." 

But for an artist whose been victimized in this way, what hurts most is the loss of the work they put their heart and soul into creating. 

Clift explained how it felt to lose an irreplaceable photobook featuring his best work from the past twenty years. 

"(The book is) the most painful," he told WWL-TV reporters, choking up as he spoke. "It's 20 years worth of work. Yeah, all my favorite work. And it's in the river somewhere."

Clift explained that he doesn't have prints of his work and as a result, he may be out of work for a while.

Despite this, he's doing his best to remain positive and says he hopes authorities are able to capture a suspect soon. 

"I'll be alright," Clift said. "I just hope police catch this guy pretty quick."

Anyone who wants to help artists like Clift can click here to visit a GoFundMe page or visit an artist's fundraiser on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at Cafe Istanbul on St. Claude Avenue.

The event, which begins at 7 p.m., involves a silent auction, music, food, and raffles, with all proceeds going to support the artists.

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