Vandals scaled a 9-foot wall at the Center for the Arts in downtown Rock Hill before destroying thousands of dollars of artwork over the weekend, police said.
Three pieces of artwork were destroyed, said Debra Heintz, executive director of the Arts Council of York County.
Other pieces had saliva on them, according to one artist.
"It's a real shame that the people who did this have so little respect for the hard work and heart that have gone into these art pieces," said Lyn Garris, spokeswoman for the city of Rock Hill. "It's sad that people would opt to spend their time doing malicious things like this."
No arrests have been made in the case, said Lt. Jerry Waldrop of the Rock Hill Police Department. Officials believe that youths on Saturday climbed over walls to gain access to upstairs studios at the Center for the Arts.
About 200 people attended a wedding reception Saturday at the Center for the Arts, Heintz said.
After the reception, police responded to the Center for the Arts on East Main Street, where they found the damaged artwork.
Rock Hill artist William Phillip "Phil" Murdock Sr. entered his "messed up" studio and found some damaged artwork, according to a police report. Someone used a drill bit to put a hole in the forehead of a carousel horse, and a unicorn head also was damaged, the report states.
"Why would they want to do something like this?" an emotional Murdock asked. "Spit all over my stuff. I don't understand the concept. Why would they want to come in and destroy my artwork?"
A trap of electrical tape and nails was left near the door to Murdock's studio. Tiffany Melchers was thankful her father, who worked on the carousel for a year, did not slip and fall on the nails.
"He does not draw or carve for profit," she said. "He only gives away his work to family members and friends. That carousel was supposed to be mine."
An oil painting that was created by Herald photographer Jim Stratakos and several pedestals were defaced with a gold-colored spray paint.
"I hate looking at what they did to my painting," Stratakos said. "So much time was spent on it. Now, it will never be what it was."
Stratakos' painting was valued at $1,000, while Murdock's unicorn head and carousel had a combined valued of $7,000, according to reports and Murdock.
Heintz, who hovered nearby, studied the aftermath of the vandalism.
"Artists put their blood, sweat and tears into a work of art," she said. "It takes years, sometimes, to create and only seconds to destroy."
So far this year, the Rock Hill Police Department has investigation 29 acts of vandalism. Anyone with information on Saturday's incident at the Center for the Arts is asked to call CrimeStoppers of York County at 1-877-409-4321 or the Rock Hill Police Department at 329-7200.