Security video from the museum showed Brian Hernandez, 21, using a metal chair to break in through the front entrance around 9:40 p.m. Once inside, he walked from room to room and began his destructive rampage.
According to police documents, Hernandez punched the case in which they were displayed multiple times before grabbing a metal stool and shattering the glass and two ancient artifacts within. The amphora and pot were valued at $5 million combined.
Hernandez also destroyed an ancient Greek kylix, a standard vessel for drinking wine, that dates back to 550 B.C. The outside of the kylix depicts Hercules slaying the Nemean lion, one of his famous mythological labours. The artifact is valued at around $100,000.
“The items inside of the display cases that were destroyed are rare ancient artifacts that are extremely precious and one of a kind,” Hernandez’s arrest sheet reads.
But it wasn’t just ancient art that he destroyed — Hernandez continued through the museum and destroyed a bottle in the shape of a “Batah Kuhuh Alligator Gar Fish,” which was completed in 2018 by artist Chase Kahwinhut Earles, a member of the Caddo Nation.
The piece is valued at $10,000 and Hernandez used a hand sanitizer stand to shatter its display case before picking up the statue and smashing it on the ground.
Earles told the DMA in an interview when it acquired his piece that he dug the clay for the statue himself from the Red River, collected and crushed mussel shells into the clay to strengthen the material, and used a traditional pit-firing method to fire the pottery. This is the ancestral way of making pottery in the Caddo nation.
Apart from these precious pieces of art, Hernandez was captured on video breaking a laptop, a phone, a monitor, two display signs and four plexiglass display cases, according to Dallas police.
Security guards from the DMA eventually found Hernandez and told him to sit on a bench while they called police.
Hernandez told a guard that he “got mad at his girl so he broke in and started destroying property,” according to his arrest sheet.
Police took him into custody and Hernandez confessed to the destruction during an interview with a detective. He has been charged with criminal mischief of more than or equal to $300,000, which is punishable by five years to life in prison. His bail was set at $100,000 and he has been booked into Dallas County Jail.
Apart from stools and hand sanitizer stands, the museum said Hernandez was not armed during his tirade.
Museum director Agustín Arteaga told Fox 7 that the alleged “girl” Hernandez was angry with is not an employee of the museum.
“We don’t have any connection that we know of, for that person, related to the DMA,” Arteaga said.
Kenneth Bennett, the museum’s director of security and operations, estimated that Hernandez caused approximately $5.2 million in damage, pending a final assessment by the museum’s curator and insurance firm.
“This was an isolated incident perpetrated by one individual acting alone, whose intent was not theft of art or any objects on view at the Museum,” the museum said in a written statement. “However, some works of art were damaged, and we are still in the process of assessing the extent of the damages.
“While we are devastated by this incident, we are grateful that no one was harmed.”
The DMA has remained open despite the attack, but certain parts of the museum are closed due to the damage.
Arteaga said this is the first time the DMA has faced any real damage.
“This is something that we’ve seen recently on a different level, you know, the Mona Lisa being attacked at the Louvre. But we have a marvellous record of 120 years when we never suffer any kind of situation like this,” he said.
Just three days before Hernandez’s rampage, a man disguised as an elderly woman threw a cake at the Mona Lisa in an act of protest against climate change.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Art workshops for teens offered in photography, poetry – Sarnia Observer
Hopes are participants in an upcoming art workshop series for teens also get involved in a photo contest jointly hosted by Lambton County Library and the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery, a gallery official says.
The Take Your Shot Teen Photo Contest that opened in May for 13-18-year-olds, and running until July 10, is one of the reasons photography was made one of the topics in an upcoming Random Acts of Art Workshop (RAAW), said Anna Miccolis, community art and education coordinator with the downtown Sarnia gallery.
The photo contest has been held by the library dating back to around 2009, but in recent years the gallery has come on board, she said.
“It’s had a number of different names over the years,” she said about the contest.
The July 6-8 RAAW “crash course of photography basics” with photographer Sierra Rei Hart at the gallery promises to help prep youngsters with photography knowledge, including composition, perspective, lighting and editing.
Winners, meanwhile, in the contest that challenges teens to encapsulate the feeling of home in their shots, get their photographs matted and framed. A choice of prizes is available to the grand prize winner.
Details are at jnaag.ca.
The contest kicked off in May with a talk about photography and storytelling from decorated photojournalist Larry Towell.
An Aug. 12 to Oct. 8 exhibition at the gallery called Feels Like Home is planned to showcase work by Towell, from the gallery’s permanent collection, and jury-selected entries from contest participants, Miccolis said.
The other Summer RAAW workshop is poetry with spoken word artist Shelly Grace July 20-22.
It ties into 10th anniversary plans for the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery this fall, Miccolis said.
“We’re looking at our permanent collection and the story of how JNAAG came to be in this building, but we’re, in that exploration of the permanent collection, we’re thinking about what our collection encompasses at this time,” she said.
“And we thought that a program centred around poetry and performance could create an opportunity for some interesting responses from youth in the community.”
Details are pending for anniversary plans in October, she said.
“But we do have a plan for a rotation of exhibits, giving a survey of the permanent collection.”
The age 14-18 RAAW series – another for 9-13-year-olds is called TNT Summer Splash – has been hosted by the gallery for more than a decade, including its pre-JNAAG days as Gallery Lambton, Miccolis said, noting the workshops are free.
Past iterations have included making murals on walls of buildings, as well as stained glass artwork and experimental painting, she said.
“As always, we’re looking to create deepened connections to the work on display,” she said. “Whether it’s a current exhibition, or using programs as a primer to exhibitions coming in the near future.”
Current gallery exhibitions include photography exhibition One Wave by Ned Pratt, and Facing North, featuring paintings by Jean Hay.
Surprised by art — Folks Art Festival uses garbage cans as canvas – Welland Tribune
The annual Niagara Folk Arts Festival may be wrapping up, but its Art We Surprised project will be around all summer — and perhaps even beyond.
So if you’re walking in St. Catharines’ Richard Pierpoint Park and find yourself face-to-face with a piece of art, make sure to take a closer look.
It was carefully created and designed — but instead of the artist using a traditional canvas, the work is on a plastic garbage can.
The point, as the name suggests, is the surprise.
“The project came from the idea that persons walking through (the park) would suddenly come upon a highly decorated art work, and be surprised to find it out in a natural setting,” said Pam Seabrook, fundraising and events manager with Niagara Folks Arts Multicultural Centre.
Originally planned for the 2020 festival through the City of St. Catharines Centennial Gardens Partnership Fund, Art We Surprised was placed on hold due to the pandemic.
Seabrook said the pause was because organizers wanted the art pieces to create “real engagement between artists and the general public,” but in the end, settled for a hybrid model — with some solo creations, and some group pieces.
Spanning an assortment of styles and inspiration, from pencil portraits to pieces reminding residents the importance of taking care of the environment. Each art piece is created by an artist who came to Canada as an immigrant.
Seabrook said the art project is an example of what the centre stands for: the inclusion of all cultural heritages, and breaking down of racism, ageism, sexism, homophobia, perceived lack of abilities and seclusion barriers.
One of the artists, Cemile Kacmaz heard about the project through social media. Kacmaz came to Canada with her 12-year-old son in 2020, with the goal of working as an education assistant, and bringing art into special needs programming.
Originally from Istanbul, Kacmaz said she came to Canada because of the difficult political situation in Turkey, and a lifestyle she did not want her son to grow up in. Being an artist in Canada allows her a freedom of speech and expression people in Turkey — and for much of her own life — are not always allowed to share publicly.
Kacmaz attended Niagara College for two years (graduating last week), but with most classes online, said it was difficult and lonely, with no friends or family nearby.
When she learned the fold arts centre was looking for artists to participate in its annual art project, she thought it would be fun and give her a chance to become involved with the Niagara community.
Art We Surprised was an opportunity to use her art for change.
Kacmaz spent a month and a half planning, and another month painting her garbage can. It was a “long, slow process,” she said, but the organizers gave artists the ability to take their time.
“Painting is the way of communication between me and the world. It is a kind of tool to understand the world around me,” she said.
Her inspiration was the universe, and by placing the garbage cans into the space, between “planets and stars, I wanted to point out how we treat the nature we live and exist in.”
All Art We Surprised garbage cans created by artists from across the Niagara region — artists with backgrounds spanning Lebanon, Africa, Colombia and China — will be placed in St. Catharines and at Pierpoint Park this month.
The Niagara Folks Art Festival has held a community art project each year since 2019, with artists invited to participate in communal art projects, regardless of ability.
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