Culture News

Bassim Al-Shaker's Phoenix Studio Robbed; 10 Paintings Stolen

Bassim Al-Shaker's Phoenix art studio was robbed on the morning of Monday, August 18.

Ten paintings were stolen from Al-Shaker's space at Fourth and McKinley streets in the former location of Nancy Hill's Hazel & Violet. He's been painting there since July. The studio is a quick walk from his residence at Combine Studios, where the Iraqi-born creative formerly worked as an international artist in residence through ASU Art Museum.

Al-Shaker is reportedly devastated.

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Greg Esser, who works with Combine and ASU, has been helping Al-Shaker transition out of his Combine residency and into a full-time Phoenix resident. He says the total retail value of the stolen paintings is $40,000.

Pictures of some of the paintings that were stolen have been posted on the Facebook page of the ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency at Combine Studios ( Some of the paintings were completed recently and hadn't been photographed yet.

Along with the photos, a post encourages anyone who sees the stolen paintings or has any information that could lead to their recovery to call Crime Stop at 602-262-6151.

"He's really become part of our family," Esser says of Al-Shaker, adding that community fundraising efforts might follow.

In the meantime, the artist will start looking for a new studio space.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski