Veteran’s art and van stolen in Aurora

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AURORA, Colo. -- A local 85-year-old veteran is devastated after his van and the artwork inside were stolen.

Jess E. Dubois’ paintings, sketches and sculptures grace galleries and fine art collections around the world. He uses proceeds from sales to educate children who dream of one day becoming artists as well. He tells FOX31 thieves took his Ford van on Monday, July 15. Inside the van were several of Dubois’ paintings as well as the electric scooter and chairlift he depends on to get around.

The veteran served his country as a Marine. He has created haunting images of greats like Ray Charles and Billie Holiday, Native American icons and trailblazers from the old West as well as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He also recently did a piece showing John Elway.

After receiving sketches, each of the Tuskegee Airmen provided their signatures, something deeply cherished by Dubois.

“I just feel that I’m doing what God gave me the talent to do," he said.

Dubois was sleeping when his family noticed the van was not where it had been parked.

“My son-in-law woke me up and said, 'Jess, your van is gone.' It was devastating," Dubois said.

Dubois tells the Problem Solvers he will be unable to paint and sculpt at many venues that welcome him across the metro area, but his main concern is for number of children he introduces to the world of art.

“Return my equipment and my scooter because I can’t get around. What was stolen from me I need so that I can keep creating," he said.

Since airing the story, FOX31 has received several offers from the community to help Dubois.

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