Vandals used tools from the studios to damage and destroy works that were donated for Sculpture Space’s upcoming charity auction. (via Facebook)

Sculpture Space, a residency program for sculptors in Utica, New York, was ransacked and severely damaged by vandals in the early hours of Sunday, August 28. The Utica Police Department told Hyperallergic that an investigation is ongoing. The motive for the attack remains unclear.

Several donated pieces of artwork for an upcoming charity auction were damaged or destroyed in the raid, Sculpture Space said in a Facebook statement today.

The 44-year-old organization provides up to 25 artists-in-residence annually with housing, studio space, and equipment. The damage to the arts center, located in an old industrial plant, is extensive.

According to Sculpture Space, the vandals used materials they found inside the studios — including paint, sledgehammers, and torches — to smash windows, wreck the office (which included computers and archival documents), destroy kitchen equipment, flood the bathrooms and hallways, and destroy furniture, lighting fixtures, and video technology. The vandals also stole the artists’ bicycles, according to the statement. Sculpture Space has not yet returned Hyperallergic’s request for comment.

Vandals destroyed a Sculpture Space office. (via Facebook)
Kitchen equipment was destroyed and dispersed throughout the studios. (via Facebook)

Sculpture Space counts New York’s Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation as sponsors, but half of its funding comes from the annual charity auction.

This year’s auction is slated for September 24. In the meantime, the organization launched an emergency Vandalism Recovery Fund, which has so far raised around $12,000.

This story is breaking. Please check back for updates.

Editor’s Note, 8/30/2022, 3:34pm: A second article was published, revealing new information about this story.

Elaine Velie is a writer from New Hampshire living in Brooklyn. She studied Art History and Russian at Middlebury College and is interested in art's role in history, culture, and politics.