The bronze figurative sculpture by artists Don Haugen and Teena Stern depicts a child walking to art class, carrying his art materials. The figure was based on Don Haugen’s grandson, who as a boy loved art.
Sandy Springs police are still on the hunt for a 300-pound bronze sculpture stolen from the front entrance to the Abernathy Arts Center annex last week.
Arts Center officials said Tuesday they fear the sculpture, which depicts a young art student heading to class, will be sold for scrap.
“It’s life-like and the community is very fond of it,” said Carole Sykes, art program manager for the center.
The sculpture was commissioned for the annex’ opening 12 years ago and is valued at $12,500, Sykes said. Today, she said, the bronze alone would fetch about $300.
Police spokesman Capt. Steve Rose said the department is contacting area scrap metal and recycling dealers to be aware of the theft. He said the annex is along a busy stretch of Johnson Ferry Road, and it is likely the thieves used a truck to ram the four-foot-tall piece, dislodging it from its base.
All that remains of the sculpture is the bronze base and one of the child’s shoes.
Jeffry Loy, conservator for the public art program at the center, said the staff noticed a bush near the entrance had been run over and a trailer hitch cap had been found nearby.
“We’re hoping that even if it’s found cut up into a lot of pieces that it can be repaired,” Loy said. “We still want to get it back.”
Loy said he has also learned that the foundry that struck the sculpture still has the original cast, so the piece can be replaced in the future.
Peggy Allen, a board member of Arts Sandy Springs, said the sculpture will be missed because the community had become so accustomed to seeing it.
“It’s very upsetting,” she said. “I don’t know how they stole it.”
Enjoy expanded coverage of college football for UGa, Tech and the SEC, with our SEC Insider, covering all Southeastern Conference matchups and articles by AJC staff and regional newspapers that cover the SEC.