Home Art collection Five Points Gallery patrons can ‘steal’ artwork during Torrington ‘Art Heist’

Five Points Gallery patrons can ‘steal’ artwork during Torrington ‘Art Heist’

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TORRINGTON – Gang of art thieves should strike Five Points Gallery Saturday night.

Gangs of thieves, in fact, and they’ll do their dastardly deeds for the crowd at the gallery’s fourth annual Five Points Art Heist. The collection of paintings and multimedia pieces – all data – will be displayed in the gallery at Water and Main streets.

“We have 50 works of art, from great artists from all over Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts,” said Founder and Executive Director Judy McElhone. “We have so many strong artists participating; many are people who have supported us over the years.


The Art Heist begins with a cocktail reception with food and drink provided by Ciesco Catering, Litchfield Distillery and Zeller Tire at 6 p.m. in the gallery.

As the witnesses and performers mingle with the thieves, they have the opportunity to “box” the space and choose what they want to steal. Tickets are available at different levels, depending on what role a guest wants to play in the heist.

At 7 p.m., a designated “Mastermind” makes the first entry of a painting or photograph. Then the Cat Burglars swoop in as a group, aiming to snatch their favorite piece of art in three minutes. The Art Nabbers tackle the next caper, followed by the Bandits, Robbers, Looters and Crooks, with the Artful Dodgers jostling for what’s left, McElhone explained.

“It’s great fun – lots of laughs,” she said. “Our emcee is Robert Calafiore, associate dean at Hartford Art School. He’s been our emcee every year, and he’s so funny. He steps into the role of master of ceremonies and he makes people so excited.

As each group of thieves leave the main gallery, they receive information about the artist whose work they have chosen and have the chance to meet that person.

“We’ll also have photo ops for people,” McElhone said. “In the past, we did things like ID photos; this year, people are waving frames and saying, “I was framed at the Art Heist.” Everyone is encouraged to dress in black.

“It’s a unique fundraiser and a fun night, and people can still get tickets,” she said. “It’s a unique idea, that you can own important works of art and meet important artists. There are paintings, photographs and drawings. It is being installed at the moment.

Illustrations were donated by Andra Samelson, Ann Finholt, Anna Webersen, Barbara Hocker, Bob Knox, Brian McClear, Brigid Kennedy, Charles Dmytriw, Cynthia Cooper, Debra Weisberg, Diane Messinger, Donald Wass, Eric Forstmann, Erika Gabriela Santos, Erin Koch Smith, Ethan Newman, Heidi Johnson, Jeanne Moutoussamy Ashe and Jenni Freidman.

Other donor artists are Jennifer Sabella, Joan Fitzsimmons, Joseph Fucigna, John Rohlfing, Julie Shapiro, Kevin Van Aelst, Linda Pearlman Karlsberg, Lisa Warren, Lydia Viscardi, Mark Rich, Matthew Best, Melanie Carr and Mio Akashi; also Nancy Hayes, Nancy Lasar, Pamela Stockamore, Patricia Carrigan, Patricia Weise, Peggy Dembicer, Peter Waite, Power Boothe, Sally Van Doren, Susan Hoffman Fishman, Susan Sharp, Suzan Scott, Sydney Morris, Talya Baharal, Tamara Dimitri, Tracy Collamore , Victor Léger and Zbigniew Gryzb.

“We know that working artists put in a lot of work and we exist to support them at every stage of their career,” McElhone said. “So that’s one way to do that and help people get a great job.”

Five Points Arts includes the Main Gallery at 33 Main Street, the Five Points Annex on Water Street, and Launchpad Studios, where Hartford Art School graduates do their work early in their careers. The organization also operates the Five Points Arts Center on University Drive, the former Torrington UConn campus, where classes and creative spaces for working artists have been operational since the building opened in 2021.

For tickets and information, go to fivepointsarts.org/events/art-heist/ or call 860-618-7222.