Local artist's painting stolen from Gallery5

Local artist's painting stolen from Gallery5

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Police are looking for a thief with an eye for art. A painting was swiped right off the wall of an exhibit in Richmond over the weekend. At first, the artist thought it was a prank, but now he's worried he may never see it again. The $400 painting had just been sold and was on display at Gallery5 on West Marshall Street for only a week.

"I can't really imagine being so overcome by art that you have to steal it, ya know, that you have to risk larceny to have it," said artist Kevin McKee.

The 25-year-old artist stood in the middle of his exhibit at Gallery5, one that took him about seven years to complete.

"This is the second solo exhibit that actually displays all of the paintings I've done," said McKee.

But now, it's incomplete with an empty space where this painting used to be.

"That was one of the few paintings I've done in this gallery that was directly inspired by atmospheres I've seen in Richmond," said McKee.

During an event at the gallery on Saturday night, McKee went to show off his exhibit to a friend only to find one of the pieces was gone.

"Never in the history of this place has anyone just stolen a piece of art right off the wall," said Gallery 5's outreach director Dusty Brayshaw.

McKee alerted Brayshaw right away.

"I started getting more and more anxious about it being gone, realizing, like, it's not here. Somebody took it," said Brayshaw.

There's no security footage, so all the gallery has to go on is a quick and odd sighting by an employee that night.

"One of our staff who was working on Saturday did see someone leaving with something that was the same size as this painting in a black trash bag," said Brayshaw.

Brayshaw said the gallery plans to get tighter security and better surveillance in the future, but for now, the hope is for the missing painting to be found.

"It's so disrespectful to the artist and to the gallery," said Brayshaw.

"I don't understand if they just really wanted that one painting or what," said McKee.

Anyone with any information can call Gallery5 at (804) 510-0488.

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