NEW DETAILS: In wake of vandalism, center officials grateful, forgiving

‘Once you start doing that and pulling back, that sense of destruction wins,’ director of marketing and development says.

An official at a downtown art center vandalized twice in the last four months says she has reasons to be grateful.

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"The outpouring of (community support) has been terrific," said Rebecca Cantrell,  K12 Tejas Gallery director of marketing and development, told this news organization.

The center at 341 S. Jefferson St. has raised about $2,000 for security cameras and lights since news broke Jan. 23 that an outdoor 5-foot-tall mosaic lantern installation was knocked over between Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18-19.

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Four duck-shaped flower planters created by local artist Lisa Dineen were knocked over in September.

About half of the money was raised via a GoFundMe  campaign seeking $10,000 for the project.

"We forgive the vandals and hope to move on from these unfortunate incidents as soon as possible. In the meantime, action needs to be taken to prevent this from happening again," a portion of the GoFundMe campaign description reads.

Cantrell said the $10,000 figure is based on an old estimate  K12 founder Jerri Stanard got for exterior lights and security cameras for the front and side of the building.

The center is seeking a new cost estimate.

Money for the campaign is also being raised through K12's website and by phone at 937-461-5149.

The vandalism episodes caught K12 and its supporters by surprise, Cantrell said.

“We never experienced any of that vandalism before,” she said.

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Not having outdoor exhibitions and installations would  be detrimental to K12’s mission, Cantrell said.

“Once you start doing that and pulling back, that sense of destruction wins,” Cantrell said.  We are all about welcoming diversity and welcoming people in.”

Credit: K12 Gallery and TEJAS

Credit: K12 Gallery and TEJAS

**PREVIOUS COVERAGE (Jan. 23, 2019): Art center director on vandalism: ‘We are very disappointed, but our spirits are not broken”

A downtown art center is seeking the community’s help to install security cameras after being hit by vandals for the second time in four months.

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"Very rarely do we get touched with vandalism. We don't understand why this is happening," said Rebecca Cantrell, the gallery's director of marketing and development.

The latest thing targeted at K12 Tejas Gallery was a 5-foot-tall mosaic lantern installation in front of the building at 341 S. Jefferson St. in downtown Dayton.

The art piece was smashed to the ground sometime between Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18-19, Cantrell said, noting that it will be repaired.

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Four duck-shaped flower planters created by local artist Lisa Dineen were knocked over in September.

At the suggestion of supporters, the center is preparing a fundraising campaign to collect money to pay for security cameras, Cantrell said.

The center appreciates the support of the community, she added.

“With all the mischief going around, it is good to see so many good people who want to help,” Cantrell said.

She said the art center inspires creativity and welcomes diversity of all kinds, she said.

Cantrell wondered if the vandals knew about the good the center does for Dayton.

K12's HAALO  with the Montgomery County Juvenile Court Program encourages at-risk teens to participate in the creation of artwork.

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The mosaic stained glass installation represents K12’s Lateran of Inspiration project.

As part of the project, much smaller lanterns are sold for $60 with proceeds going toward scholarships for youth to take classes at the center.

Cantrell said many area residents have stopped to take photos in front of K12’s outdoor art projects and sculptures, its cat, bull and art mural included.

"We are very disappointed, but our spirits are not broken," Cantrell said, paraphrasing what she said K12 founder Jerri Stanard told staff members.

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