Beach artist hoping to track down artwork stolen from Boardwalk Art Show

(Joe Fisher/WAVY Photos)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A local artist is asking for the public’s help to locate six paintings allegedly stolen from the Boardwalk Art Show at the Oceanfront.

Police say someone took the framed pieces from a tent at 24th Street between Saturday night, June 17, and early Sunday morning, June 18.

David Gwaltney, a digital artist who creates the prints directly from his iPad, says the pieces are valued at a combined $1,500. He says the six paintings were in either black or white 16 by 20-inch frames.

Gwaltney says his passion for art turned into a side business when he purchased his first iPad in 2010. Since then, he says he has created more than 200 digital prints and become known for the bright colors in the finished products.

“For the show, I probably had 15 pieces,” he said. “You’re talking about taking six out. I’ve got a big hole in the show.”

Gwaltney says he wrapped the artwork in plastic and put them inside his unlocked tent around 8 p.m. Saturday night. When he returned the next morning, he says he noticed the pieces missing.

The artwork stolen includes original designs of a crab, a bluebird, a butterfly, an egret and a sunset.

“Who took it? They could have been from out of the area, somebody just hanging down there looking for an opportunity because it was easy to go behind the booths,” said Gwaltney. “I got a lot of time and investment. These are not inexpensive prints to print out.”

The pieces are limited edition, according to the artist, and three of them had been printed for the first time specifically for the art show.

Gwaltney is hoping the public will keep an eye out and he’s hoping police are able to track down the person or group of people involved.

“Maybe somebody will stumble across it.”

Police say the case will soon be assigned to a detective, who will check to see if surveillance cameras at the Oceanfront captured any of the crime.

Gwaltney can be reached by email or through his personal website.