Artwork in Bastrop vandalized

Police in Bastrop are looking for those who vandalized some valuable sculptures on loan to the city. The damaged happened shortly after the artwork was put up.

A concrete slab at the entrance to the old river bridge in Bastrop is all that's left of a sculpture that was damaged March 21st by vandals. A lump of bronze is what caught the eye of Deborah Johnson as she drove by.

"it breaks my heart for the artist , because that is their work, that's their heart and soul that they put out there, and it breaks my heart for our city that somebody, someone, here that is so disrespectful of someone's work that they'd do that," said Johnson.

The $4900 sculpture a visualization of the child's game of Rock, Paper and Scissors called "The Game." It was created by Austin artist Warren Cullar and on loan to the city as part of a competition organized by the Bastrop Art in Public Places task force. The damage was discovered the same day Culler would learn he had won first place. The replacement he provided Bastrop, according to Johnson, will not return to its original location but will be put on display behind protective glass.

"it won't be quite assessable, most likely it will go into city hall which is open only 5 days a week, it will be at a location where people can look, come to a window and look in on it, so it will still be accessible, "said Johnson.

The vandals also targeted another sculpture, called Zen Balance, located on the other side of the river. A small piece was pried out of the center. It was also made by Warren Cullar who described the attacks as "disappointing."

Those with the arts group say they are not going to let the incident stop them from trying to accomplish what they are doing here in Bastrop. They are moving forward with their next project, which involves transforming utility boxes into something beautiful. Some work is already underway. Thursday, Karen Abrahams, and several other artist were working in a back painting transformer boxes. Abraham says she understands public art comes with a risk.

"I guess I can't ever worry about it, but there is always the chance somebody scratches it, someone decides they want to paint also, graffiti or whatever, I don't really worry I can always paint back over it unless it is really bad," said Abrahams.

City councilwoman Kay Garcia McAnally - who works with the arts group, says police are keeping a close watch as more art work is put up around town.

"We will be more pre-cautious about what kind of art we put in what locations, we learned a little bit but we will never stop bringing it," said McAnally.

Police are still looking for the Vandals. Anyone with information that may lead to an arrest, and conviction, could receive a reward.