Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Artist at a Loss Over Missing Art.

Byline: Wren Propp Journal Staff Writer

Police, Courts Involved As Gallery Owner Exits

Chilean artist Sebastian Picker decided five years ago that Mary Kelly's Latin American arts gallery was the place in Santa Fe for his work.

Kelly had just opened her gallery, Meredith-Kelly Latin American Fine Arts at 135 W. Palace Ave., and he liked her energy, he said.

And she was successful.

"She sold a lot of paintings" for him, Picker said. "It was going very well, and I didn't have a problem with her."

Picker described Kelly as "well mannered, very gentle and a very decent person," until their relationship soured in 1999. They argued about Picker showing his paintings at a New York gallery.

Picker said she canceled a show he was going to have in Santa Fe.

And she did not return or pay for nine of his pieces at the gallery when they failed to resolve the dispute and ended their working relationship. He said he later saw one of the missing paintings hanging in the home of a collector in Madrid, N.M.

Still, Picker said he was surprised when Kelly suddenly cleaned out and closed her gallery overnight in late February and appeared to walk away from the business. …

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