Country star lends a hand after art stolenCountry music star Keith Urban decided to give Eau Claire salon owner Denise Mackey-Natz a helping hand Monday after hearing a monument dedicated to him that stood outside her salon, Urban Style, had been stolen.
By: By Jon Swedien, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis., Superior Telegram
Country music star Keith Urban decided to give Eau Claire salon owner Denise Mackey-Natz a helping hand Monday after hearing a monument dedicated to him that stood outside her salon, Urban Style, had been stolen.
Urban called Mackey-Natz to console her after hearing that a fiberglass hand, which depicts scenes from one of Urban's concerts painted by local artist Janell Isaacson-Whitehouse, a friend of Mackey-Natz, was missing. Vandals stole the hand from its spot next to Urban Style's entry at 201 Gibson St., either late April 23 or early the next morning.
Three years ago Mackey-Natz bought a fiberglass hand statue for $2,500 as part of the Hands Across Eau Claire fundraiser, which benefits the Eau Claire Children's Museum.
"This is really cool to have something so sad turn into something so awesome," Mackey-Natz said Tuesday. "I'm still on cloud nine."
Urban did more than just cheer Mackey-Natz up, she said. He gave Mackey-Natz and two friends concert tickets and backstage passes for one of his shows and also is offering tickets and backstage passes for any concert date on his current tour to anyone who provides information that leads to the discovery of the missing hand.
The stolen hand has not been found.
"It was just a sick feeling. It was gone," Mackey-Natz said after seeing the hand had disappeared.
Urban's call went a long way toward brightening Mackey-Natz's mood.
"He was so nice and so kind," she said.
Mackey-Natz said a spokesperson for Urban called her Thursday after seeing a news report about the missing hand.
Fiberglass hands similar to the Urban model can be seen throughout Eau Claire as a number of businesses and individuals have bought them as part of the Children's Museum's fundraising program. Since 2005 the program has sold more than 60 hands and raised $90,000 for the museum, Way said.
"It has been very well supported," said Darcy Way, executive director of the Eau Claire Children's Museum. "It gives us a bit of presence in the community."
The hand that depicts Urban isn't the first of the fiberglass structures to have disappeared, said Jason Kaveney, community relations officer for the Eau Claire Police Department. But others eventually have been found, he said.
One hand stolen previously later turned up inside a UW-Eau Claire fraternity house, Way said.
This theft appears to be an isolated incidence, Kaveney said, adding there is a detective working on the case.
Swedien can be reached at (715) 833-9214, 800-236-7077 or email@example.com.
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Copyright (c) 2011, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis./Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.