Edmonton-area artist hopes for return of $30K worth of her artwork

Edmonton-area artist Chris Riley is upset after $30,000 worth of her art was stolen from her driveway over the weekend. Les Knight/ Global News

An Edmonton-area artist is hoping to have her stolen vehicle and artwork returned after they were stolen from her acreage outside Spruce Grove over the weekend.

Along with many other artists, Chris Riley had taken part in the Whyte Avenue Art Walk on the weekend, which sees artists line Old Strathcona’s busiest street with their work.

Sometime after she got home on Sunday night, her car -which was loaded with about $30,000 worth of original art and show materials – was stolen from her driveway.

While Riley is hopeful her car is returned, it’s her artwork she is most keen to get back as it cannot be replaced.

“They’re one-of-a-kind,” she said on Wednesday. “Some of them I don’t even have good photographs of yet, so it’s really quite a drag.”

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“I haven’t allowed myself to really think that it’s gone forever because that’s… too hard to think about right now so I hope I get it all back.”

Riley said she came home excited and happy on Sunday night because the art walk had gone so well.

“(I) fell into bed pretty happy and then got up in the morning, watered my plants and never really noticed anything.”

It was only in the morning that she learned her car and the artwork in it were gone.

“My boyfriend came up to me and said, ‘So where’d you put the car?’… It was one of those slow realizations… ‘Holy crap it’s all gone.'”

Riley told Global News she reported the theft to the RCMP and was told there had been a number of vehicles reported stolen in the area overnight.

She said she now has plans to install a surveillance system at her home as well as a gate for her driveway.

‘[It] was a really great show. It was very hot and very busy and very well-attended and I had a really great show so I was kind of on a bit of a high.”

Anyone with information about the theft of Riley’s car – a Ford Flex – and her artwork, is asked to call CrimeStoppers.