Jackson Pollock mural

Director Al Harris-Fernandez and curator Todd Behrens stand next to Jackson Pollock's "Mural" at the Sioux City Art Center.

Jim Lee, Sioux City Journal

The Sioux City Art Center has extended the closing date for the Jackson Pollock mural and can now be viewed through Easter Sunday (April 5).

Art Center patrons can now visit the painting between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday (April 2), 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday (April 3 & 4) and 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday. Afterwards the painting will be shipped off to The Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. The painting will continue its tour of Europe after November 2015.

Al Harris-Fernandez, director of the Sioux City Art Center, recalls the painting's stay in Siouxland.

How do you feel about Pollock's painting leaving the Art Center?

It is an important exhibition and we're very happy to have had it here for nine months. It's definitely the most famous and highly valued artwork that's every come through the Art Center. When it leaves we will continue our other exhibition schedule. We don't have anything as impressive as Jackson Pollock coming up next, but we will within another year or so.

How many people visited the exhibition?

We've had about 25,000 people come to see the Pollock piece. That sets a record. I think the last exhibition that had a high number was about 18,000, so we've gone over that. We get people that are really big fans of the particular painting and enthusiasts come back several. We've had people from Chicago, Kansas City and St. Paul who have come here specifically to see the painting.

What kind of impact did the painting have in Siouxland?

People have been exposed to an important artist and a very important painting. That obviously impacts our students, artists and appreciators in different ways. This has created a higher visibility for our community and for the Sioux City Art Center. We always knew it was going to attract a lot of attention because it's a very significant artwork.

Are you disappointed to see the painting leave?

No. It's never disappointing. It was an opportunity for us to have an important artwork here for a while and learn more about it and share it with the public. That's what we're here for: provide access to the fine arts to our public. That's been a very gratifying experience. 

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