vandalism

ARtPrize
Rich Evenhouse

Reports of a vandal striking an art installation last night in Grand Rapids.

From the Grand Rapids Press:

Judy Rogers of Gowen returned to her entry "Love Is..." about 10 p.m. Monday to find the large rotating globe that was installed on the north side of the David D. Hunting YMCA branch knocked over and mangled.

Witnesses told Grand Rapids police that someone ran up to it and purposefully began hammering at the work of art until the large sphere came off it’s support.

The Press reports this is the second piece of art to be vandalized this year.

Gowen's entry was constructed using drawings made by elementary school students. The students are scheduled to visit the installation sometime this week.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

People stealing metal, computers and other equipment have done more than a million dollars worth of damage to Flint school buildings in the past 18 months. 

Linda Thompson is the Flint Community Schools superintendent. She says the problem goes well beyond kids with spray paint.   

Thompson says in one case a school building was ransacked as part a sophisticated scheme.   

"These are not kids doing this," Thompson insists, "You can look at the fact that electricity was disconnected….we’re talking about people who are not amateurs about doing this either."  

Thompson is worried vandals might take advantage of the upcoming Christmas break to do more damage to Flint schools.    

She’s urging people to report any suspicious activity around Flint schools to the police.  

Thompson says Flint is not alone. Many urban school districts have seen a big increase in vandalism during the past few years. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

“It is a first for me with this amount of money,” Grand Rapids Treasurer Al Mooney said (he's been treasurer for more than 20 years).

The anonymous donor sent the cash to make amends for “minor vandalism” he or she took part in years ago.

The short, typed letter reads,

“Minor group vandalism many years ago. Cannot remember specifics or even if I did any damage, but I think one of the street signs was taken.”

Inside the envelope, with no signature or return address, were five $20 bills.