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Cape artist’s creation stolen from Punta Gorda gallery

By Staff | Mar 30, 2011

A Cape Coral artist recently had one of her beaded art pieces stolen from an art gallery in Punta Gorda in broad daylight.
Tania Begg said Harry, the Nassau grouper that was stolen, had a price tag of $5,800. The 3-dimensional, 3 1/2-pound piece of beaded artwork is almost entirely made out of red jasper and natural stone beads, including black onyx, marble and river stonebeads. The artwork was created in more than 300 hours over nine months.
“I put $700 of my own money into it,” she said. “It is very close to my heart.”
The artwork was discovered missing at Sea Grape Art Gallery in Punta Gorda on March 23 after the gallery opened between 10 a.m. and noon. Begg said three people were working in the gallery when the piece was stolen.
“I am devastated and so is the gallery,” she said.
The night before Harry went missing, the gallery participated in a Gallery Walk where Begg sat working on a new piece of artwork, along with having her pieces demonstrated because she is the featured artist of the month. She said she remembers a couple and teenage son looking at Harry asking questions about how much it weighed and what kind of beads she used, which were out of the ordinary.
“It is a unique, one-of-a-kind sculpture,” Begg said. “I feel that is my best artwork … I put my heart in every piece.”
She said although she feels Harry has left the area, she hopes the police can find her artwork.
Those with any information on the whereabouts of Harry the Nassau grouper can contact the Punta Gorda Police Department.