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Rockin mural restoration

Artist Mark Kochen works to restore a mural at Rocklin Manufacturing Co. in Sioux City, in this June file photo. Kochen and Paul Chelstad originally painted the mural, which can be seen from Gordon Drive near Virginia Street, in 2005.

SIOUX CITY -- Two artists who were classmates at West High School will talk about their current work and careers at the Sioux City Art Center on Thursday.

Ezra Claytan Daniels, graphic novelist and illustrator now based in Los Angeles, and Mark Kochen, a painter and muralist who lives in Sioux City, will speak at 6 p.m. in the Art Center's Stark Lecture Hall. Following their individual presentations, Daniels and Kochen will have a conversation about how their passion for telling stories through art have taken them on different but equally interesting paths. The event is free and open to all ages.

Daniels has completed independent and collaborative projects ranging from animated short films and works exclusively for digital media to a narrative concert series and graphic novels. His new graphic novel, "Upgrade Soul," was recently optioned for film by Aperture Entertainment.

Kochen is a prolific painter, having completed hundreds of canvasses, many of them large-scale, and recently worked with Paul Chelstad to complete the restoration of the mural of the Rocklin Manufacturing building on Gordon Drive. He has work in the Art Center's permanent collection and was the subject of a one-person exhibition in 2009.

After the conversation in the Lecture Hall, Daniels and Kochen will be available for further discussion in the Art Center's atrium, which will feature a display of artworks by both artists. Copies of "Upgrade Soul" and puzzles featuring Kochen's paintings will be available for purchase and autographing.

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