When TV covers art stories, the results are always straight out of an absurdist play. KIRO 7 calls Whiting Tennis's paintings "priceless" and treats them as if they're very important.

This is the same TV station that, like all TV stations, never, ever covers art stories unless the story involves price tags or crime. That's how "priceless" they are.

Shortly after calling them priceless, the reporter gives an estimated dollar value for what the paintings could get on the art market: $65,000.

There's been no further news of the art since the truck was stolen Thursday and then recovered Sunday, empty. I keep checking the SPD blotter and watching the sky—I'm worried that wherever the paintings and multimedia pieces are, it's going to start raining on them.

They were on their way to Willamette University's Hallie Ford Museum of Art for an exhibition scheduled to open January 18, Whiting Tennis: My Side of the Mountain. The show is still on, and several substitutions are being made, but the works in the truck were the bulk of the exhibition, says Greg Kucera, the gallerist who represents the artist.

There is a bit of a bright side to TV news and the mainstream world in general being so clueless about this art (or any contemporary art): Art's dollar value is set on the market. Only a knowledgeable buyer will pay what it's worth. A thief can't offload this stuff as if it were diamonds—and no collector is going to buy these works of art now that their images have been plastered all over, unless it's the kind of collector who wants to keep Whiting Tennis's works secretly in a vault for the rest of eternity. And that seems unlikely.

Dear thieves: Take the $1,000 reward Kucera's offering and give up the location of the art.


What's it to you? Why let go to ruin the life's work of this poor Seattle artist hoping to have a rare solo exhibition?

Kucera can be reached at his gallery at 206-624-0770.

With tips for SPD, call Detective Hiro Yamashita at 206-684-8945.