Vernon artist Joshua Wallace

Artist, gallery looking for missing painting

Eye For An Eye was created during the Riot On The Roof fundraiser

Joshua Wallace wants his painting back.

His piece, Eye For An Eye, features famed peace activist Mahatma Ghandi in the middle, framed by lesser-knowns Dylan Welsh on the left and Joshua Gosselin on the right.

“They’re my buddies, they’re not famous. I just incorporated them into my painting,” laughed Wallace, whose piece, which has gone missing, was created on an eight-foot-by-four-foot plywood canvas on the night of Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Vernon Public Art Gallery’s sixth annual Riot On The Roof at the Vernon Parkade.

Wallace, 19, was participating as an artist for the first time in Riot On The Roof, an event aimed at a younger audience featuring two stages of live music, graffiti artists, live painting, chalk art, dancing and more.

He arrived at the parkade that night at 6 p.m. and began working on his painting. The event officially opened to the public at 7 p.m.

Wallace was situated on the bottom level – Level 4 – of the parkade.

“I had my little display set up and I was working on my painting,” said Wallace, who left the event at 11:30 p.m.

The last time he saw Eye For An Eye, he said, was at the parkade a couple of days after the event.

“The organizers hadn’t taken the paintings down and I asked if I could go up and work on it because they told me they didn’t want me to take it home,” said Wallace. “So I went and worked on it, then left it with the rest of the giant (eight-by-four) paintings.”

Wallace said he found out Thursday that the painting had officially been declared missing.

“I got an e-mail from somebody asking to drop the painting off and I said I didn’t have it,” he said. “I thought maybe it was still at the parkade or maybe in the art gallery. I went there and spoke with the lady in charge and she said they hadn’t found it.”

Art gallery executive director Dauna Kennedy Grant said Friday the gallery does not know where the painting is, but is in the process of contacting the different participants to see if Wallace’s painting “went to a different location.”

She’s also trying to reach the event’s organizers, two summer students hired by the gallery.

“We want to do some preliminary work first because it can be easily found if it just got misplaced,” said Kennedy Grant, adding she hopes the painting is returned.

“The paintings are important to us because they were created to go on the outside of the parkade,” she said. “We’d like to make sure we get it tracked down and use it for the purpose it was created for, which is to add some art to the exterior of the parkade.”

Wallace is hoping for the safe return of his artwork.

“What goes through my brain is that somebody probably saw the painting in the parkade and thought if it’s there for one more day, I’m going to take it,” he said. “It’s disappointing.”

If anybody has any information on the painting’s whereabouts, they can call Wallace at 250-306-6760.


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