Marilyn Dyer’s painted horse sculpture was torn apart in Langley earlier this month.

Vandals wreck Langley sculpture

South Surrey artist Marilyn Dyer in ‘disbelief’ over destruction

An artist whose horse sculpture was torn apart by vandals in a Langley park earlier this month said it is the community that has lost something through the senseless act of destruction, not her personally.

South Surrey resident Marilyn Dyer said that although she reacted with disbelief to news that the life-sized fibreglass sculpture she spent 2½ months painting had been vandalized, she isn’t upset for herself.

For her, the reward was in the creative process.

“I had so much joy doing it – my part was done,” said Dyer, a retired Langley Fine Arts School teacher.

Instead, it is the Brookswood community, the people who sponsored the sculpture, the Langley Arts Council and Langley as a whole she feels have been injured by the act of vandalism.

“I think the wider community should use this as a symbol of the destruction that goes on,” she said. “It seems that there are people who just can’t accept that there is something nice in their community.”

It was sometime after 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, that the statue, provided by the Langley Arts Council and sponsored by the Brookswood Merchants Association, was destroyed.

The horse was decapitated, chopped off at the hoofs and left lying on the ground. The sculpture had been placed in the Brookswood Water Park at 200 Street and 40 Avenue after spending the winter on display inside the Brookswood Shoppers Drug Mart.

While Dyer would like the police to catch the people who did it, she said it isn’t to punish them but to try to understand why they would want to destroy something that was meant to enhance the community.

“It was put there for a good reason. I think everyone who saw it realized it was a thing of beauty for the community,” she said.

The fibreglass horses, which are part of the community-wide “Horsing Around Langley” arts initiative, can take up to 300 hours to complete and sponsors have paid up to $10,000 to have the horses placed in their community.

The pieces of the damaged horse were gathered and taken to an auto body shop, where technicians who work with fibreglass will attempt to reattach the head and feet.

A reward of $500 is offered for information leading to the charge and arrest of the vandals. Anyone with information is asked to contact the arts council at 604-534-0781 or the RCMP at 604-534-3211.

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