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Over $20K in art Stolen from Booths at Park City Festival

Last weekend's Kimball Arts Festival was visited by thieves who came in the night and burglarized several tents. 

Police say sometime between 1am and 6am Sunday a person, or group of people, burglarized seven booths. Two of the items stolen were hand-carved wooden chairs valued at $11,000. 
"I found out about it as I was walking down the street this morning 39 back to my booth someone had some chairs stolen," said Ron Benoit of Woodensound Fine Woodworking.

They weren't Benoit's chairs, but the artist in the booth next to his. Along with the two chairs, several art pieces and a handmade jacket were stolen. A sculpture was also vandalized.

This is a long running and highly respected festival.

Learn more here:

What precautions do you take to prevent this from happening to you?

Views: 2347

Comment by Carol Larsen on August 22, 2016 at 8:52pm

Karen, thank you for sharing more details, I know it couldn't have been easy, as it took me over a year to speak about it to others. On purpose I had kept quiet for many reasons (beyond the police reports). My insurance that yes, I had all this supposed coverage didn't pay a PENNY for my labor. I had to prove receipts (which I had) of all the raw materials and "that's" what they would pay me, not the countless hours put into developing that line. And, I found that out, after I submitted the whole breakout including retail, matched with receipts for the same item online as proof. And I had photos of the whole section of goods stolen I had taken one hour before the show closed. It represented so many things on so many levels as I know you can identify with. I felt so betrayed. One reason why I kept my mouth shut was because it was a very unique blend I had custom made and I was at that time, the only person in the US that carried one particular fiber. I searched and waited for the line or parts of it to come up for sale somewhere, never did. And because it was so unique, I waited for finished goods to come up, nothing. And I was sad, and felt like a failure. But the betrayal of when it happened, and the likelihood of the culprit was the most painful part for me to face. And so only a handful of show organizers knew, and thankfully some listened and really started to be more careful. So I guess that was part of the good in it...I was proof standing right there among people I respected and valued that their system was broken, please...fix it.

Comment by Joel Lockridge on August 30, 2016 at 8:39pm

This is awful, and indeed a breach of trust. You paid to be there, they promised security at night. Two isn't enough. I've seen shows with 10 or more. I make it a point to eat local somewhere nearby, take my time, and then stroll back through the festival grounds. I've never once been stopped or questioned, and you almost always see the "security" bunched up together, playing on their phones in their cars, chatting in groups. Never fails to irritate me.

Comment by Karen Gelbard on August 30, 2016 at 9:06pm
Thank you, Joel Lockridge, for sharing your observation. All I can do right now is raise awareness of this theft. I have forwarded the news articles to my next show and asked them what their security was. If we all did that, it might help change how security is handled at shows.
In the meantime, I am filling out paperwork with ACT insurance. I have to document the material costs for the work. I am also considering tech devices in the booth and have considered renting a guard dog.....and I am a cat owner....
We as artists need to put pressure on shows to provide better security. I will sign up for the shows that say they have my back. No security, or poor security, I won't go.
Comment by Greg Little on August 31, 2016 at 10:44am

Karen Holtkamp...Would you please mind sharing what Insurance company and coverage you have that covers all you mentioned in your above post. I think many of us would appreciate it and really benefit from a very good policy..


Comment by Kathleen J. Clausen on August 31, 2016 at 10:46am

This is very disheartening.  I am so sorry that it happened to all of you.  I am fortunate that I make jewelry, so have an easier time getting my inventory out each night.  Having to remove heavy items, and, in many cases, not being able to drive into your booth, would make it so difficult for you.  I don't understand gratuitous theft (ie, not reselling the items), nor do I understand just making a mess for the fun of it, destroying things just for the fun of it.

Comment by Greg Little on August 31, 2016 at 10:59am

Here is one piece of security equipment I have that is certainly better than nothing. The way I view it is every bit helps... it is obvious that show security is quite useless and until it improves (if it ever does) we all need to deal with it ourselves.

It is unrealistic for many artists to take down their work and take it with them each evening. This is more easily dome with smaller pieces but for those of us that take a long time to just set up our artwork...reality check. Also imagine everyone also driving their vehicles in the festival each morning to unload.

Comment by Kathleen J. Clausen on August 31, 2016 at 11:15am

You are so right, Greg! I've never seen this before, but it looks promising.

Comment by Connie Mettler on August 31, 2016 at 11:23am

Wow, Greg. That is cool. Something we always did to slow them down and make it hard to get into the booth was to put zip ties (those tough nylon ones) through the zipper pulls and attach them to our weight bags. We would also, especially if it looked like rain, but could also work in a security situation, take all work off the walls and put in their boxes place all boxes in the middle of the booth, cover with a tarp and use padlocks connected to our racks ... 

Comment by Joel Lockridge on August 31, 2016 at 12:38pm

One sharp box cutter equals quick entry to any tent, zip ties or not.

Comment by Connie Mettler on August 31, 2016 at 1:04pm

For sure! Certainly seen those used on closed booths.


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