By Kelly Werthmann
DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Arts Week is an exciting time for art lovers and artists, but this First Friday was incredibly special for one local artist.
It’s where Jacinta Lobato was reunited with one of her original pieces thanks to a Good Samaritan who found it in the trash.
“For somebody to just throw it away, it makes you feel like you’re worthless,” Lobato told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
For Lobato, art is a form of self-expression. The painting, titled ‘Linda’, she created in 2014 is one of her more meaningful pieces.
“It’s capturing the beauty of this model, of this woman, and as women as a whole,” she explained.
Lobato sold the painting years ago, yet just a few weeks back Chad Wieland found it lying face down in snow by a dumpster in Aurora.
“The more I looked at it the more I was like, ‘This is really good. There’s something not right here,’” Wieland told CBS4.
Wieland said he used Google to track down Lobato, found her Facebook page and sent her a message.
“I felt like I got punched in the face,” Lobato said of learning her $1,000 painting was thrown away.
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Confused, Lobato said she called the man who bought the painting. He told her it had been stolen during a robbery of his apartment.
“It’s almost like somebody kidnapped my child and I’m trying to get it back,” she said.
As the husband of another local artist, Wieland knew he had to return the discarded painting to its creator.
“When I walked in the door and saw her reaction, I was just ecstatic,” Wieland said. “I knew I had done the right thing.”
Waiting eagerly inside the Abraxas Art Gallery in the Santa Fe Art District, Lobato’s eyes filled with tears of joy when she saw ‘Linda.’
“She looks great,” Lobato said smiling. “I’m so happy!”
After handing over the painting, Wieland and Lobato hugged.
“I’m very happy to put a smile on somebody’s face,” he said. “The universe will put good things in your path if you do good things for others.”
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.