"I thought my eyes were playing a trick on me and my heart sank and went into pure panic," Shana Soulis said through her tears.
“The art is priceless to us...it carries the energy and spirit of my father.”— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) February 4, 2020
More than *100* works of art by the late San Francisco businessman and artist Ted Soulis were stolen. His family is asking for your help to get it back. @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/VPMR13zKsy
PLEASE HELP: 120 pieces of their late father/husband’s 🖼 art was stolen from a @uhaul just days before the anniversary of his passing. If you see any paintings 🎨 by Ted Soulis contact Info@MetroHotelSF.com @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/OHJ6WgbGv9— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) February 3, 2020
That panic set in around 6 a.m. Friday morning after Shana, co-owner of the Metro Hotel and her creative partner Gene Barnes returned from a trip to Sonoma to her late father's art studio. They took one look outside along Divisdero Street and realized the U-haul they had packed filled with 120 paintings by her late father had been stolen.
"All of the art is priceless to us. I feel like it carries the energy and spirit of my father who passed away 13 years ago," Shana said.
Ted Soulis died from a brain tumor in 2007. His art was to be displayed throughout the hotel as a way to keep his spirit alive.
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"He wanted to share his art with other people. It gave him great joy," his widow Ellen Soulis said.
A representative from U-Haul says insurance can be purchased for the vehicle itself but not for the contents inside. SFPD recommends loaded moving vans never be kept outside overnight. A risk Gene understood, but never thought could happen to them in the span of just 3 hours.
"Regret that we hadn't just endured and pushed through to unload the paintings when we arrives. We got back so late," Gene said.
All that's left of Ted's body of work is what remains in the lobby and photographs of the art his widow had taken, with the hopes of one day turning the images into a book.
"I've been holding on a little too tight because I felt like I could hold on to him," Ellen shared.
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For now surveillance video isn't available and SFPD continue to work the case. The Soulis family can only hope that someone will step up and do the right thing.
"I just hope the people who took it have the decency to consider what this art means, not only to the family but to all the people that would be touched by it," Gene said.
If you see any of Ted's artwork, you'll be able to identify it by his name, signature and date on the back. Please contact the family at Info@metrohotelsf.com for any information regarding the artworks.