If you attended Modern Art 2012 at the Modern Hotel, it would have been pretty hard to miss the wall cover made out of knitted and crocheted videotape.
Adrian Kershaw, a Boise artist, created the wall cover specifically for the event. The 30-foot by 6½-foot piece was created with 100 percent recycled VHS tape. The project took three weeks and more than a dozen volunteers to create.
On May 24, a hotel employee noticed some burns on the piece.
“The bartender said that she noticed it right away when she came to work,” said Kershaw. “It hadn’t been there the day before.”
Kershaw and friends decided to go back Friday and take it down themselves, for fear of further damage.
“When we came to remove the cover Friday afternoon, Adrian found new burns that were not there Thursday, on the back of the wall,” said Lauren Kistner, a contributing artist to the piece.
Kistner said the burns most probably were not an accident.
“It had to be burned with a lighter or something stronger,” said Kistner said. “It melts and is dry and flaky when burned. You can use heat to mold it, but the extent of the material destroyed and char marks on the wall behind the crochet cover insist upon a flame. A cigarette would not have enough heat to burn the Mylar to the extent that it was.”
Volunteers spent more than 500 hours to complete the piece in the weeks leading up to Modern Art. Local artists Amy O’Brien, Seth Randall, Brian Anthony Moore and Kistner all worked with Kershaw on the piece.
Kershaw is staying positive. Working this weekend to help prepare the stage drama War Horse, which opens at the Morrison Center in a week, she hung the damaged piece off the back railing of the venue and friends came by to see it.
“We may also take it camping as a shade shelter,” Kershaw said.
She also said some of the staff working with her on War Horse have asked her to work on projects in the future, since they have seen what she can do.
“It’s not the way I wanted more people to find out about my art,” she said. “But hopefully, there’s some silver linings in here.”
Anyone with information regarding the vandalism is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 343-2677 (COPS).