Pollock's "Mural" is sure to impress Siouxland - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Pollock's "Mural" is sure to impress Siouxland

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Jackson Pollock's "Mural" is on display to the public starting Saturday at the Sioux City Art Center. Jackson Pollock's "Mural" is on display to the public starting Saturday at the Sioux City Art Center.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - Jackson Pollock's "Mural" is considered one of the greatest contributions to American art ever.

And now it will be on display at the Sioux City Art Center for the next nine months.

But having such a high profile work in the Art Center has meant lots of preparation.

The newly-restored "Mural" expects to travel all over the world in the next few months, but Sioux City will be its temporary home from now until April 2015.
    
With everything from heightened security to the conditions in the gallery, the Art Center has taken many steps to get ready for "Mural's" grand debut.

"It's really been two years of preparation but in the last few weeks we're just doing the final touches," said Art Center director Al Harris-Fernandez.

Harris-Fernandez was looking for a big project to bring to Sioux City. So he made a phone call. At the other end of the line was The University of Iowa's Museum of Art Director, Sean O' Harrow.

"We established a state-wide program for sharing the collection of the University," said O'Harrow.

"Hey, I've got a great idea. Let's bring it to Sioux City," said Harris-Fernandez.

"He said, 'Well, could we consider the Jackson Pollock Mural?'" said O'Harrow.

"He bought into it and at a certain point, we both agreed and said we were going to make it happen no matter what it took and we did it," said Harris-Fernandez.

So for nine months, Sioux City has Jackson Pollock's "Mural" all to itself.

"We actually had to change out an eight foot door into a 10 foot door to allow us to get it into the gallery," said Harris-Fernandez.

Following a restoration at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, it made the trip here - in a special, climate controlled crate - and was brought into the gallery, where it will hang at the Art Center.

"We also removed an existing wall in the gallery so that we would have a nice large space to show the mural in," said Harris-Fernandez.

Harris-Fernandez says the Art Center raised standards to make sure that they would be able to house the Mural.

"There will always be two security guards in the gallery when the public is allowed into the gallery," said Harris-Fernandez.

There's also a new alarm system and several measures that were taken to ensure the safety of the piece, ranging from the lighting to climate control. But those changes were worth it to the Art Center Association.

"It's a huge feather in our cap for bringing a major artwork and the history of art to Sioux City," said Harris-Fernandez.

Which means this abstract-expressionist piece will make a huge impression on the Siouxland area.

In total, Harris-Fernandez says that the project costs around $300,000,

Part of that cost was covered by grants, but the Art Center Association also raised 250-thousand dollars.

Harris-Fernandez says they're already receiving calls from people all over the country who are looking forward to come seeing the piece on display.
    
Admission to see the piece is free, but the Art Center is recommending a $5 free-will donation for adults, and $3 for kids.
    
The display is open to the public on Saturday.

Wednesday evening, a select few got a first look at the piece.

The Art Center hosted a VIP party for about 200 people.

It is the first official showing of the piece since its restoration at the Getty Museum in LA.
    
The display was made possible by the Art Center Association and their Blockbuster partners, as well as the Gilchrist Foundation.
    
It all coincides with the Art Center's centennial celebration.

"All of these people that have been invited here tonight played a major role in either getting the artwork here or supporting the Art Center to a point that made it possible for the artwork to be brought in here," said development coordinator Regis Garvey. "So we just wanted to thank them."

After Sioux City, "Mural" will go on tour in Europe, making stops in Venice, Berlin, Stockholm and London before returning to the United States.

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