Vandals Strike ArtPrize Entry Depicting Noah’s Ark

Posted at 5:44 PM, Sep 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-20 17:50:43-04

It hasn’t been unusual for art pieces to become the targets of vandals in Grand Rapids during ArtPrize.

It appears someone has struck again, this time damaging a piece with a religious theme on Fulton Street at the First United Methodist Church parking lot.

They ripped a dove out of the window of a sculpture that looks like Noah’s Ark.

“This is sheep, um, actually, I was going to paint his tear, right here,” said Adele Vanocker, ArtPrize artist. “This is the lion I made bowing, for a symbol of the lion and the lamb shall bow together. This is the elephant with the trumpet shall blow and you shall all see, and the dove was the love, but it’s not there.”

There were also some boards on the ark that were broken, but Adele was most disturbed about the missing dove.

She made the bird in memory of her late husband.

Her daughter says it was an emotional realization.”She was just devastated last night, heartbroken,” said Sarah Conant, Adele’s daughter.

After realizing the sculpture was missing, Adele told her family members that it wouldn’t destroy the spirit of the piece.

“My husband passed away a few years ago and the dove is a symbol of love,” said Adele. “So, I wrote to her, ‘they took my dove, but they can’t take our love’.”The folks in charge of the venue at the First United Methodist Church say they’ve never had an experience with vandalism at their venue before.

However, they don’t have an indoor venue area this year because of construction being done on the church.

“I think somebody’s deliberately doing it,” said Adele.
Adele and her family have a message for those who target the artists that put their time and energy into the pieces.

“To be considerate of other people’s property. She’s put her heart and soul into this work,” said Sarah Conant, Adele’s daughter.

“The dove is little, where I can replace that. But, the other things I wouldn’t get done in time to replace. So, I would really appreciate it if they don’t vandalize my art project anymore,” said Adele.

The church does have cameras in their parking lot.

They say they will be reviewing the security footage to see if they can catch those responsible.