DaJaniere Rice is desperate to be reunited with a lost painting at the center of her first upcoming solo show.
On Saturday (April 22), she had a sneak peek in Midtown, where she displayed pieces from her collection, Naked.
“Everyone loved it as they were really interested,” said Rice, who was shocked to learn one of the paintings didn’t make it home. “I woke up this morning with a pit in my stomach because it’s gone, and I’ve been working so hard on it.”
The painting depicts the Garden of Eden but with her at the center.
“I made the canvas with my own hands,” Rice said. “It has a lot of sentimental value to me.”
Her dad, Oscar Rice, had placed her work in the bed of his pickup truck. In the 14 miles it took to get home, the 4x5 painting on stretched canvas flew off the truck somewhere along the way.
“I felt really bad,” said Oscar, who has retraced their route multiple times now with no luck.
They suspect the painting was lost somewhere along the southbound lanes of I-75 between exits 42-44.
“I definitely cried when I got home,” DaJaniere said, who adds their first search was immediately after they realized the painting was gone. “I’ve been working on that painting for a long time, and it means a lot to me.”
They are hoping someone picked it up, and if so, that person will return it.
“It’s a great piece. I know you would love it, and it would be hard for you to even give it back, but it’s a special piece for her, for us, and for the rest of the world to see.”
DaJaniere’s solo show is set for June 10 at Detroit Contemporary. She says she may be forced to start over if she cannot find her painting.