Photos of stolen art courtesy of Brittany Mojo. Painting by David Bae valued at $500.
Over $26,000 worth of artwork was stolen last week from a truck in Long Beach’s Rose Park neighborhood.
On the morning of Friday, February 2 local artists Chris Miller and Brittany Mojo awoke to find their truck completely emptied.
The two are a part of Los Angeles-based Monte Vista Projects (MVP) and Tiger Strikes Asteroid (TSA), two artist-run spaces participating in an exchange show with an art collective in Austin, Texas called ICOSA. In October, the artists associated with the Los Angeles-based galleries flew to Austin to display their works. A second show was scheduled for this month where ICOSA’s artists would get to display their pieces in Los Angeles.
Twenty ICOSA artists had sent their work to the house of Mojo and Miller, when the night or morning before the planned date to install the show 20 pieces of artwork—sculptures, paintings, photographs, fiber works and prints— were taken from the silver 2004 Toyota Tacoma.
Mojo is an artist, educator and a founding member of the Long Beach-based art collective, Grab Bag Studio, while Miller is head of 3D Foundations within the art department at Cal State Long Beach.
“As an artist-run space, this is the worst case scenario of what could happen when preparing to mount a show,” said Mojo.
The show, titled Natural 20 (a dungeons and dragons reference) is still scheduled to take place with an opening reception on Saturday from 7:00PM to 10:00PM in the Bendix Building, located at 1206 Maple Avenue, 5th floor, #523, Los Angeles, 90015.
Several of the ICOSA artists whose work was stolen have responded by sending more works at the last minute, while Los Angeles artists, including Debra Broz, Karri Paul and John Pike, will contribute pieces to fill out the space.
“All of the artists involved have been more than understanding about this entire thing,” said Mojo. “They have shown us kindness and grace and many have made work in response to this tragedy. The general resilience of artists has always been an admirable trait, but these artists especially have dealt with the loss with an unparalleled empathy.”
TSA and MVP have also scheduled a redo show for ICOSA in 2019, where the galleries will use money from previous fundraising events to pay for their travel and shipping, said Mojo.
Photo by Alyssa Taylor Wendt valued at $2,150.
“We are incredibly shocked but humbled and impressed by how everyone came together to put on a show that’s turning to be really great,” said Mojo.
Long Beach police officers responded to the Friday morning call in the area of 10th Street and Dawson Avenue where it appeared the rear window of the truck had been forced open, according to LBPD spokesperson Nancy Pratt. Miller indicated the burglary had to have happened after he had left the vehicle on Thursday at 3:00PM and when he returned the next day at 7:30AM. An auto burglary report was taken.
Mojo said her and Miller’s personal homeowner’s insurance would cover the cost of everything stolen, with the goal being to reimburse the artists for the value of their stolen work.
“Chris and I are willing to eat the loss,” Mojo said.
Anyone who may have information regarding the incident should contact the Auto Theft Detail at (562) 570-7362. Anonymous tips may be submitted through “LA Crime Stoppers” by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477), downloading the “P3 Tips” app to your smart phone (available at the Apple app store or Google Play), or by visiting www.crimestoppers.org.
Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her on Twitter and Instagram @theasiamorris and via email at [email protected]
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