Residents of Los Banos and the surrounding cities are urged to join the search for 268 missing trees. Their disappearance took place the night of Friday, October 27, from the parking lot of the Maple Inn in Los Banos. They could be anywhere.
Their kidnapper may have disposed of them in a dumpster or some other remote location. This would not be hard to do because these are not real trees—they are paintings and drawings of trees. The public should be on the lookout for large, brown cardboard boxes wrapped in colored tape, like the below:
Argentinian artist Máximo González pleads for the artworks’ safe return. “It took me six years to paint and gather these trees. These paintings are part of an immense ecological art project proposed for Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, conceived to raise awareness of the fragility of our wounded environment. If you have any information leading to their whereabouts, I beg you to share it with the authorities.”
Lori Wood, Residency Manager at Montalvo Arts Center, will be spearheading the initial search, starting Sunday in Los Banos. Says Wood, “We will not give up hope. We will continue our search until the paintings are found. We will either celebrate their safe return or grieve for them as an artistic community.”
If you have any information on the whereabouts of the paintings, see any boxes, or hear of anyone selling paintings of trees, please contact the Los Banos Police Department and Kelly Sicat, Director of the Lucas Artists Program at Montalvo Arts Center, at +1 (408) 961-5812, or firstname.lastname@example.org