Vandals destroy thousands of dollars of WSU student’s artwork

Photo of damage in Melinda Sudbrink's studio on the WSU campus caused by vandals. (Photo courtesy Melinda Sudbrink)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – An art student at Wichita State University is trying to rebuild her studio and portfolio after vandals caused serious damage to her creations.

Melinda Sudbrink told KSN News she puts her loss at between $2,000 and $4,000 as a result of the break-in.

Sudbrink said the vandalism was discovered Thursday by WSU officials.  She went to her locked studio in the McKnight Art Center on the WSU campus later Thursday to view the damage.

There were several other studio spaces in the secure area that also were vandalized, Sudbrink said.

A Wichita State official told KSN a WSU police reported vandals broke into the area sometime between August 14 and August 17.  They destroyed, damaged or stole artwork and supplies.

Sudbrink said her art brushes were dipped in paint, then in glue, and left to dry. They were completely destroyed, she said. In addition, many large canvases were destroyed. “They even painted my staple gun,” said Sudbrink.

There was also polyurethane resin in her studio, a substance she used in her artwork. “They’re lucky they didn’t open the containers,” said Sudbrink. “I wear a respirator when I use it. The fumes could have caused them to pass out.”

WSU police report they are investigating possible suspects in the case.

Sudbrink’s mother has started a GoFundMe page to help Melinda buy new supplies.


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