3 years of work stolen from WNY artist after South Wedge car break-in

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Nicholas Malahosky lost his art, but found an overwhelming amount of community support

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Nicholas Malahosky lives in Buffalo, but grew up in Rochester, so he visits often. He’s a copywriter by trade and also a visual artist — his drawings are an emotional release.

“It’s what I do to keep myself happy, keep myself from going insane,” Malahosky said. “If my thoughts and emotions start to become too overwhelming, I can take pen to paper and save myself from thinking that way.”

But two weeks ago, someone broke into his car while he was at a bar in the South Wedge. In an act that he called “brazen,” the thief smashed a window, and took his bookbag. A bag that had three years worth of those drawings.

A photo Malahoksy took of his shattered car window

“My legs just gave out, and I start freaking out,” Malahoksy said. “Just having my windows smashed and have them rifle through my stuff is violation in and of itself, and I can handle that. But to lose the last three years of work. I only had it all together because I was looking at what to get published, to lose those three years of work was a bit much.”

The loss couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“It was a tough week too,” Malahosky said. “I lost my dog and my best friend. That was too much for one week.”

But after the anger subsided, he made a post on Facebook. Thousands of people saw it. Some offered help.

“The support from the community has really been overwhelming,” Malahosky. “Some lady offered to PayPal me for some money to buy new supplies, someone offered to give me a free haircut. It seems like something a lot of people can identify with.”

Malahosky looks at the spot where his empty bookbag was found

Eventually, the bookbag was found on the Genesee River, after he posted a flyer, but empty. Still, he continues to post flyers in the area, even staying in Rochester, away from his job to look. He may have lost his art, but will start anew.

“Now that the anger has passed, I really just want to be more prolific, and try to get things out every day,” Malahosky said. “I know worse things have happened to better people.”

Malahosky working on his latest piece, “Worse Things Have Happened”

But through this loss, he found a community willing to help. He also says that he won’t press charges, and wants to know what happened either way, even if the notebook ended up in the river. And he has one more request.

“A few people have offered to donate money to me to help me rebuild my portfolio, don’t bother with that,” Malahosky said. “Just donate the money to Journey’s End Refugees in Buffalo. They could put it to much better use than I could.”

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