Faculty piece nabbed

Art of the steal

“It went missing Thursday,” said Sabrina Sorbani, gallery assistant at the Los Medanos College Faculty Art Gallery.

“As soon – I’m pretty sure as soon – as I opened up.”

The ‘it’ that went missing was an installation piece displayed in the LMC Faculty Art Gallery, created by LMC’s own Curtis Corlew, an Art professor here on campus.

Called “The Big Picture,” the piece is described by Corlew as “three little teeny teeny tiny books” each containing dozens of pictures taken by Corlew. The books were displayed on a table next to a magnifying glass mounted to the same table, to allow gallery viewers to actually physically see the pictures. There was also an equally miniscule ‘guestbook’ that encouraged viewers to sign their names.

The photo books were all gone by the time Sorbani arrived Thursday morning. While preparing the gallery for visitors, she noticed two children enter and exit the gallery, and after they were gone, noticed that Corlew’s art was missing.

“Two little boys were there as soon as I opened the doors and put the signs out,” Sorbani recalled. “I got up to put a label over on [another piece of art in the gallery] and then the next thing I know, I turn around and they were gone… judging by their height [they were] probably six or seven.”

Police services are still investigating the crime, but Sorbani and Corlew both believe the two children to be the ones who stole the art piece.

“I did not expect two kids to take that,” Sorbani said. “That was so shocking.”

Corlew described the incident as being more disappointing than anything else, but has been trying to put a silver lining on it.

“Is that a compliment that someone stole my stuff? Or did someone really hate me enough to steal all my stuff?” he pondered jokingly. “I sure would like to get it back, though…I am hoping to make replacements in time for the opening. I don’t know if I’ll be able to.”

In the end, the incident might just end up being a blessing in disguise for Corlew, however, due to him exercising a bit of humor when submitting the piece.

“I did put on the information form… I valued them at $1 million,” Corlew revealed. “I’m hoping the college insurance will be able to cover it.”

“…Without bankrupting the school,” he added.

– Haylee Stevens contributed to the report