By Josee Smith
On Saturday, Nov. 8, Imani Howard ’15 walked through the kitchen of Enchanted Broccoli Forest (EBF) around 1 a.m. and mentally took note of the canvas-sized painting of two pieces of broccoli having sex which had adorned the walls of EBF since last spring. As community manager and a fan of the painting, Howard was likely to notice the presence of the painting a couple of times a day. The following morning, at about 10 a.m., she walked through the kitchen again and was surprised to see the painting was missing.
According to Howard, things in EBF were likely to get moved around and she initially assumed that someone in the house had moved the painting. However, after sending out an email to the house and discovering that no one in the house had touched the painting, she realized that someone must have taken it out of the house the night before.
“It’s pretty heartbreaking when something gets stolen from the house like that,” Howard said. “One of the things that’s really integral to our culture is the art that we do.”
The painting was created last spring by a resident, India Emerick ’15, during EBF’s quarterly Creation Day. Emerick was inspired by their broccoli-themed home.
“The whole house comes together to create, build, clean, repair things for the community and the house,” Emerick said. “I was inspired in a dream about fornicating broccolis and I decided I would just try it out. I just painted it during Creation Day, was pretty stoked on how it came out, and wanted it to be displayed in a very public location.”
Emerick hoped that the painting could remain in EBF so that she could return to the house with her children when she was older and show them the kind of legacy she had left behind, like many other former residents and the paintings and other artwork they have left in EBF.
After deciding that no one in the house had the painting, Howard sent out emails to as many mailing lists as she could reach, asking the Stanford community to be on the lookout for the painting. Howard and Emerick are hopeful that the painting will be returned to EBF and that the only reason it hasn’t been returned is because it might be in a freshman dorm, one which maybe hasn’t heard about the theft yet.
“It’s pretty conspicuous, so people are going to notice it,” Emerick said. “We see that it’s just a silly prank, or an exciting thing to do as a freshman.”
Howard has plans to file a police report this week, after receiving advice from Residential Education. That same night, a large blue water pipe was stolen from EBF as well and Howard hopes that both items will be returned to the house soon.
“It’s perplexing that it’s still wherever it is,” Howard said. “Right now it’s just a waiting game.”
Last year, another painting was stolen from EBF in the fall and eventually located in a freshman dorm. It was returned to EBF that spring. Howard and Emerick don’t want to punish whoever took the painting but are hopeful that someone will come forward with information. Howard has offered many dinners for anyone who brings them information about the location of the painting.
Contact Josee Smith jsmith11 ‘at’ stanford.edu.