SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Some people who remember the old Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Sioux City still wonder what happened to a vibrant mural that once graced the building.
The artwork, "Patriotic Mural," was created by Oglala Lakota artist Arthur A miotte, and it was unveiled at the school in February 1966. It went into storage at some point and disappeared under unknown circumstances, according to Sioux City school district spokeswoman Alison Benson. She said the district tries to move notable artworks from older schools that close down.
The Sioux City Journal reported that the building was torn down in 2005, to make way for the new Irving Elementary School. Contents of the old middle school were sold at auction, but the mural never turned up.
Paul Lammers, who taught at Woodrow Wilson in the 1960s and 1970s, said he's sure the mural wasn't discarded.
"We've all looked for it. I am sure it didn't go to the dump. Somebody has got it, somewhere," he said.
Amiotte, now 73, began his teaching career in 1964 at Woodrow Wilson. He is regarded as an influential artist who depicts Lakota life in the northern Plains. He lives in Custer, South Dakota.
The mural depicted the Sioux City neighborhood where the school was situated. Amiotte asked about the mural in 2009, during a visit to the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City, which features galleries linked to the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Margo Chesebro taught English and Spanish at Woodrow Wilson. She recalls an attempt to retrieve the mural from storage and place it back in the school. But it was gone.
"I think somebody has it. Now, where they put it or why, I don't know," she said.