DENVER — Gary Starida said he wishes the picture he found in a vacant storage unit would tell a thousand words.
Starida found several paintings in an abandoned unit on Federal in Denver, along with a box of personal items belonging to a man named William Allen Simmons Painter.
“I don’t know what caused this gentleman to have this unfortunate thing happen in his life,” Starida said.
A passport and Native American registration card found in the unit show Painter was born in 1946 and traveled to Australia. Starida also found several art books entitled “Cherokee Spirit Tales” written by author Jack Gregory. Inside the books are newspaper clippings from the 1970’s.
Starida said he hopes someone will come forward and claim the belongings, of which he has become a diligent guardian.
“I feel like I know somebody I’ve never met," he said.
The FOX31 Problem Solvers showed the art to restoration expert Randy Reed, who owns Village Frame in Greenwood Village.
He said the portrait is likely worth several hundred dollars if not more due to the construction of the face and balanced features. Reed said the other pieces were perhaps created in the style of artist R.C Gorman. Starida said he contacted the Problem Solvers because regardless of the value he wants the art to get back to where it belongs.
If you know anything at all about these pieces of art contact the Problem Solvers.