Devastation Turns to Elation for ArtsHub 118 Artist

When Michael Moore dreamt of the Archangel, she never imaged the journey it would take her on. Finding the perfect model and losing the images from the photoshoot was only the beginning of an adventure that would see the heartbreaking theft of her painting and the eventual surprising coming home of the six-by-four-foot canvas.

Photo Credit: Michael Victoria Moore

Michael shared the dream she had with a few close friends with the hopes of turning the four different visions she had into paintings one day. Having never painted a strong male figure before, she was delighted when a friend found a gentleman that would be willing to pose for some photographs for her to begin to build on her dreams. Unfortunately, between the photoshoot and receiving the photos, tragedy struck, and she not only lost her friend, the photographer, to an aneurysm, but the pictures could not be located either.

It was nearly two years later than Michael would receive word the digital photos had been found, and she would begin to work on her painting of the Archangel. As many artists will tell you, a little piece of themselves goes into each detail, which was not a small endeavour. “I do not conceptualize small,” the artist explained of her large canvas piece.

Production halted when Michael moved, and the painting was placed in storage before she settled into her space in ArtsHub 118. She was giddy when told there would be space to display any work that she might want to share with the other tenants. “It was refreshing to know that my work would be seen and recognized in this setting,” Michael explained. She was delighted to have the painting titled Reverance hanging for others to enjoy.

Photo Credit: Michael Victoria Moore

Then tragedy struck again when Michael learned the painting had been stolen, along with eight other works from various artists in ArtsHub 118. She was devastated, and although she didn’t know the monetary value of the painting, she did know the personal value, and the theft of the art broke her heart.

The story takes an unbelievable turn as the painting is back home with Michael. The image had caught the eye of the woman who took it home and hung it on her wall when she found it leaning on a dumpster. The woman learned it was a stolen piece of work when a friend came over days later and recognized it from a CBC News story, Moore said. The woman contacted Moore to return the painting, and Michael was stunned to learn the painting was not damaged.

The Archangel is now prominently displayed on a wall in Michael’s home, and she is thankful every day at this unbelievable turn of events.