The Deland Sculpture Walk is a really nice partnership between Stetson University, the Museum of Florida Art and the City of DeLand. Linda Brant responded to the call for artists and was selected with her bronze and steel piece called "Beyond Fear and Desire." Her sculpture, created in 2011, was installed last October in Pioneer Park on the corner of North Woodland Boulevard and East Rich Avenue and was supposed to be there two years. Rich and Lilis George sponsored the sculpture. An inverted rusty automotive leaf spring sat at the top of a thick steel base support, looking a bit like an oxes yoke. Above that a circular disk with a large central hole and many smaller holes framed the bronze which looked a bit like a female crucifix with two snakes.
Last week, the bronze centerpiece of her sculpture was stolen. Officer Wise of the Deland police was notified and a report was filed. He was supplied with close up pictures of what the centerpiece looked like. Ray Johnson of the Museum of Florida Art said that the museum carries insurance for such instances. The beautiful bronze centerpiece was obviously not "beyond desire." I went to the location the day I heard about the theft. It looked to me like the 1/4 inch thick rod that held the bronze had been cut with a hack saw. Linda thinks they might have used a torch to cut the metal, either way this was a brazen theft done right in a public park.
Linda said, "I'm not sure what I plan to do about the damage - replace or rework it somehow, I guess. It was a one of a kind bronze, so no mold to fall back on!" This isn't the first time I've heard of art being vandalized and stolen in Central Florida. This sort of stuff seems to happen all too often in the Sunshine State. I wonder why so many artists are leaving to go to larger cities?