Sculptor’s work stolen from gallery

A bronze sculpture by Lawrence artist Jim Brothers was stolen Saturday night from Roy’s Gallery, 1410 Kasold Drive.

The thief broke a window between 7 p.m. Saturday and 8:45 a.m. Sunday and took the 30-inch-tall piece “Shamans Never Weep,” said gallery owner Mehrzad Alison.

Plywood stands in place of a shattered window at Roy's Gallery, 1410 Kasold Drive. Late Saturday or early Sunday, a thief broke the gallery window and took a ,500 sculpture by Lawrence artist Jim Brothers.

The piece is part of a sold-out, limited edition of 35 sculptures, and has number 31 inscribed near the base.

Alison, who has been working at the gallery since 1984 and bought the business about six years ago, said it was the first theft in the 30-year history of Roy’s Gallery.

“Ever since I put it in the window, it seemed like it was drawing a lot of attention,” Alison said of the $3,500 piece.

The piece is a bust of an American Indian shaman that morphs into buffaloes at the base, and is attached to a walnut base. The shaman has a tear in his eye, which represents the deterioration of the American-Indian way of life and the disappearance of the buffalo.

“I wish it had not happened, but looking at it in a joking way, it was great enough of a piece that somebody took the risk to steal it,” Alison said.

Alison suspects the theft was by a person who asked about the piece but was shocked at its price. He said the memory of the person was too vague to make a description.

“I feel violated not only for my store but mostly for the sake of the artists I have in there,” Alison said. “I’ve always seen art as kind of a peacemaker in a way, and that art galleries are a place to relax and be at peace. Having to think that someone actually made plans to steal a piece of artwork is kind of hard to swallow.”

Jim Brothers said it wasn’t the first time his work was stolen.

“It’s strange when they’re selective,” he said of the thief. “It happened at the Leopold Gallery in Kansas City (Mo.), too.”

Brothers recently completed work on statues for the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va.