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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Saturday, June 22, 2024
The Echo
Art Workshop (Tepper) .jpg

Art department seeks return of stolen work

Situation considered theft, not prank

On the morning of Oct. 14, two pieces of artwork were discovered missing from the hallway of the Modelle Metcalf Visual Arts Center.

Of the two pieces missing, one was an oil painting purchased from a former student, and the other a photograph from a series done by professional photographer Keith Cotton. 

Both are original art pieces that belong to the art department’s permanent collection.

“It takes it to another level when the labeling of ‘missing’ can be misinterpreted that can be lost or just temporarily gone, but it is that these things have been stolen for whatever length of time period and we are hopeful that they will return,” Laura Stevenson, assistant professor and co-chair of the art department, said.

There is a lot of information still unknown about who took these pieces or why these particular pieces were stolen. 

Following the discovery of the missing pieces, campus police were contacted immediately and remain actively involved in the case.

Jeff Wallace, chief of police, also commented on the seriousness of the situation.

“Let’s be clear — it is theft,” Wallace said. “Knowing our community it is probably some form of what they think is a prank, but it’s not. It’s actually theft, it’s personal property, it’s artwork so there’s value to it, but it’s also valuable to the person who did the artwork. That’s why we really want to see them returned.”

At this point, there have been no leads toward the recovery of the artwork. While recovery remains the top priority, the department hopes something can be learned from this situation.

“We would hope that we would foster a campus environment in which theft would not be taken lightly — not as a joke, prank, or stunt, but in which any property would be treated with respect,” Jamie Miles, assistant professor and co-chair of the art department, said. “We are aware that these are not the only items that go missing on campus, or that have gone missing on campus, so there does seem to be some campus culture that this is funny or lighthearted, but it is actually theft.”

If there is any information known about where either piece of artwork could be, contact the art office at (765) 998-5322 or email Cindy Reishus at

If found, return to the art office (MMVA 105) or Student Development (Boren 220).