INTERVIEW: Mural Project Takes Flight Along West 7th; Artist Sarah C. Rutherford Shares Inspiration

Aug 31, 2021

Credit Siouxland Public Media/Sheila Brummer

A nationally acclaimed artist is putting her talent to work on a mural on West 7th Street in Sioux City. 

The mural is part of a multi-million dollar reconstruction project along the West 7th corridor between Wesley Parkway and Hamilton Boulevard.

Sarah C. Rutherford
Credit Siouxland Public Media/Sheila Brummer

The creation by Sarah C. Rutherford is the first of several that will be installed on the sides of buildings to help beautify the area. Sarah, who is from Rochester, New York, talked to Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer about the project.

You can see Sarah’s masterpiece on the side of the American Home Health Care building at 214 West 7th Street in Sioux City. She hopes to wrap up her work by the end of the week.

The next artist will arrive soon from South Korea.

The Alley Art Festival mentioned by Sarah takes place on Saturday, September 25, in downtown Sioux City. This year the event will expand to include an alley behind the Orpheum Theatre. Along with art, there will be live music, food trucks, and more.

Artist Sarah C. Rutherford and assistant Amber Odhner
Credit Siouxland Public Media/Sheila Brummer

News release from the city of Sioux City:

New Mural Underway by Nationally Known Artist at 214 West 7th Street

The City of Sioux City is proud to announce a partnership between the owner of 214 West 7th Street, the City of Sioux City, and nationally known artist Sarah C. Rutherford which has resulted in the development of a new mural within the West 7th Street Corridor. Over the past decade, Rochester, NY based artist Sarah C. Rutherford has developed her skills as a respected muralist, illustrator, educator, and community leader. Collaboration is a consistent thread that connects her work to many different venues, such as, but not limited to, co-founding THE YARDS Collaborative Art Space in 2011 as a community art space, co-creating ROC PAINT Division in 2015 as a city-funded youth mural arts employment program and most recently, the launch and implementation of her comprehensive public art project, “Her Voice Carries”. “Her Voice Carries” is a documentary film which follows her public art projects centered around women lifting up the voices of others. It is currently showing nationally on PBS.

Sarah has started work on the mural located at 214 West 7th Street and expects to be finished in about two weeks. The focus of the mural is a large photorealistic harrier hawk set amongst corn and a prairie scene. The hawk is flying towards the street, creating movement and with it, change. The image represents the regenerative efforts of prairie spaces in recent years and the effort made regarding the revitalization of West 7th Street. Ms. Rutherford utilizes a mixture of spray paint and brush techniques to create the image. The mural is visible from Wesley Parkway and the downtown area.

Throughout the last several years, millions of dollars have been invested on West 7th Street, between Wesley Parkway and Hamilton Boulevard, through a complete street reconstruction and the façade improvement program. This mural is the first of several that will be installed throughout the West 7th Street Corridor to further improve the aesthetics of the area. The City of Sioux City would like to thank the owner of 214 West 7th Street as well as Sarah C. Rutherford for their commitment to improving this historic and important area of Sioux City.