Stealing Half Is Still A Whole Crime

AVPA artist gets her artwork stolen



Petersen’s charcoal piece of two heads mirroring each other

Stephanie Liem

Dark attired figures gliding down spy wire and cutting into glass windows with portable lasers seems like the perfect scenario for an art theft. In juxtaposed to the Mission Impossible like perception most people have of art being stolen, CCHS had its own art theft take place just outside the AVPA classroom. Though, despite their efforts, these thieves “only stole half the piece.”
Tuesday, Jan. 27, AVPA artist, Pauline Peterson had set her piece right outside room 1, to retrieve a spray bottle of glue. The art piece was cut in two halves, one of which Petersen still needed to glue onto cardboard before finally submitting the work for a grade. She left for about three minutes, but the piece was still perfectly in her sight of view. By the time she returned, half of her artwork was gone.
At the time of the crime, the school gates were left open for students without a sixth period to leave campus. Initially, Petersen thought it was the wind that took her artwork, assuming that it would be preposterous for someone else to have stolen it. “I never expected students to steal someone else’s art, especially if it was another student’s art piece,” Petersen said.
With Kristine Hatanaka, the AVPA Art instructor, repeatedly telling her to “Go get it! Go find it!”, Petersen searched all throughout both the high school and middle school for the piece, still nothing was found.
In attempt to find the missing piece, Hatanaka sent out an email to the staff with an image of the artwork attached. The theft was also broadcasted in the school announcements days following the event.
The piece itself was a charcoal drawing of two heads mirroring each other. Peterson, spent a around two months working on the piece, hoping that she could submit the completed product to Hatanaka for an AP studio art grade and an art program outside school. “It was the most important piece to me personally,” Petersen said.
According to Hatanaka, a similar incident had never once come up before, which is why the entire art department is still in shock. Though, Petersen’s friends jokingly remarked that “at least it was good enough to be stolen.”
After a week time since the incident, Hatanaka expresses that she is still, “just as angry.” She, along with Peterson are disappointed that the likelihood of a random stranger stealing the artwork isn’t very high. “The students here are us,” Hatanaka said, coming to terms that a member of the student body was most probably the culprit of the crime. “I kinda have the tendency to believe that if you do something bad, something bad will come back to you.”