PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Thousands of dollars of art have been reported stolen from the 2019 Three Rivers Arts Festival.
According to a few artists at the event, it happened under the cover of darkness as a thief or thieves broke into four artist booths at Point State Park Saturday night and stole paintings along with other valuables.
Chris Jackson, an artist from Chicago in for the festival, says someone unzipped the back of his tent and took four paintings worth over $3,000.
“It was very crowded here yesterday, so we could’ve had a bunch of people canvassing the show last night and maybe they came and targeted what they really wanted,” he said.
The stolen artwork includes a horse painting and a larger version of a print paying tribute to the Penguins Stanley Cup victory.
“Kind of perplexed how you could get something that large out of the park here, it’s not something you can hide under your jacket or shirt,” Jackson added.”
Lex Covato, a Pittsburgh artist, noticed several pieces missing from her booth this morning, including a large version of an Andy Warhol painting worth $900.
“It was really a favorite yesterday with people and I was selling a lot of prints,” she said. “That original painting was gone when I walked in. To get out of here with those, you’d have to have a car, a truck, a van, something set up here.”
Claudia Carrera was lucky, she only had batteries that powered her fans taken. However, she still wants more security in the back of the booths.
“It’s so easy to just open the middle of our booths and get in and steal something and just run,” Carrera said.
Local photographer Dave DiCello says someone stole 150 of his coasters overnight and he may spend the night Sunday.
“Maybe I’ll get a sleeping bag, get a nice chair and camp out because you spend a lot of money to come down here, some people travel really far, so it’s really disappointing,” DiCello said.
The artists say this doesn’t put a damper on them returning next year.
KDKA has reached out to the organizers of the Three Rivers Arts Festival for comment, but have not received a response.