CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Charlottesville artist was left with more questions than answers last month, when FedEx lost 4 of her paintings, worth thousands, on the way to a show in Denver. After weeks of searching, calling, and hoping, the missing art was finally found.
For weeks, Mae Read was pulling out all the stops. Her friends were, too.
“At least one person especially was pretending to be my assistant for at least three weeks,” Read explained. "Calling daily and bugging this woman in corporate, and escalating, and escalating.”
After nearly a month of searching, she was starting to lose hope.
“I couldn’t get anyone to actually call me back,” she explained. "I could never get a case manager to call me back. I gave up on really dealing with it, I started filing an insurance claim.”
Then, a call from FedEx: a breakthrough.
“It was basically just sitting at that location where I thought it was, had been since the day I shipped it," Read recalled. "If she hadn’t forced them to look over and over again, it probably wouldn’t have resurfaced anytime soon.”
Read had already scheduled a replacement with the gallery in Denver. The paintings they already received would be displayed there, while Read would also virtually show off pieces in Charlottesville.
“We had scheduled it for Saturday, the 26th, and we got the call on Thursday, the 24th," she explained. "I guess they were overnighted, showed up on the 25th, and were home for the opening on Saturday.”
After all of this, Read was also invited to display some of her pieces in a show at the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona in spring 2021. While the prospect of shipping art again, 4,000 miles away this time, is a daunting one, she says it’s too good an opportunity to pass up.
“I am definitely worried about it," Read said. "I still need to do it to be able to show and sell work. So, I am just hoping that it won’t go bad again.”
Read says that two of those paintings have already sold at the show in Denver. Some of the pieces from the show that do not sell at that gallery might be making a transatlantic trip to Spain, too.