Coyote Ugliness | Letters | Chicago Reader

Coyote Ugliness 

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Dear editor,

I am writing in regards to the article in the October 11 issue of the Reader regarding the sculpture that was stolen from my studio during Around the Coyote [Neighborhood News]. I would like to make it clear that I hold no animosity towards Mary Beth Cregier or Around the Coyote. They worked very hard to make Around the Coyote a success. I do however want to clear up some misconceptions about how I was portrayed in the article. I called ATC only twice about the theft, not "ten times" nor did I "demand" anything. I asked that other artists be informed so this doesn't happen to them. My intention of going to the Reader about the stolen work was to get a photo published so if anyone saw it on someone's wall they could report it. I wasn't looking for pity nor was I looking for a feud with the staff of ATC. Aside from having a piece stolen my overall experience at the festival was a positive one. I also sold some work and received a lot of positive feedback. Large numbers of people came through my studio, which was good exposure for my work. This is both good and bad. With the increased volume of people coming through compared to other years it will be necessary for artists to increase security. I have never had a problem like this in the past years that I have participated in the Coyote when it was smaller. When there are 30 people in a space at one time it is harder to monitor everyone's movement and it is easy to become distracted when involved in conversation with the patrons. A theft at ATC, whether it is one or ten thefts, shouldn't be swept under the rug nor should the importance of security be minimized. It is prudent and responsible to let artists know to add extra security and to be extra cautious. The staff at ATC did a good job this year and deserve a round of applause. Feedback from participating artists serves to improve the festival so it will be even better in the following years. My feedback, to inform artists of the theft, was meant to improve not tear down future festivals. I hope the staff will see the importance of more awareness around this issue.

Victoria Fuller

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