Iowa City set to unveil new Herky designs


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Ten years after 90 Herky statues were unveiled across Iowa City and Coralville, the two communities are now preparing for 75 newly redesigned Herkys to arrive.

Dale Arens, the trademark licensing director for the University of Iowa, said the new design is not a replacement of the original logo, but rather an addition.

Arens said that unlike most Big Ten schools, the Hawkeye Tigerhawk does not match the actual mascot that is prevalent during sporting events.

While the new Herky design was created over the course of the last year, Arens said, the committee members have long had a pretty good idea of what they wanted.

“I wanted Herky to look like Captain America, not the Incredible Hulk,” Arens said. “He needed to look studly but function, [be] fierce, but not scary. This Herky has a classic, heroic strength.”

The new round of statues this year feature a new pose that was unveiled at the UI’s fifth-annual Fry Fest in Coralville. Iowa’s fabled mascot is now depicted with his hands on his waist Superman style.

The public-art project is a joint effort among the Iowa Athletics Department, the city of Iowa City, the city of Coralville, and the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

The new design is being finalized, and it will be approved by the end of September, Arens said.

Shortly after, the molds for each statue will begin to be formed.

Detailed costs have yet to be completed, for the statues will be displayed in May 2014.

What originally begin in 2004 and was coined “Herky on Parade” involved 90 statues placed across Iowa City and Coralville.

Four designs were revealed during a ceremony at Fry Fest.

A MidWestOne Bank-sponsored design, covered with black and yellow photos of spectators at Iowa football games, is among those.

The remaining 71 new designs will be chosen by the “Call for Creativity” invitation that the original project used, where artists from all over can submit proposals for a Herky design for consideration.

Marcia Bollinger, the public-art coordinator and neighborhood-services coordinator for Iowa City, says that the committee then checks all designs to see if they are possible to re-create.

“We need to make sure that it will hold up outside, especially designs with attachments,” Bollinger said.

Nick Pfeiffer, the second vice president of MidWestOne’s marketing office, said the art initiative is an outlet that allows individuals to be exposed to different parts of their own community.

“It gets people into parts of town they may never go to otherwise,” he said.

Pfeiffer said the bank chose to become involved with the project for the community-involvement aspect.

“Hawkeye fans — you’re the ones that make Herky great,” he said.

Another Herky that was released during Fry Fest was the Hayden Herky, created to resemble former Hawkeye football coach Hayden Fry.

Ideas for new Herkys are placed into a photo book for potential sponsors to flip through, but all designs are first approved by the committee in charge of the project.

All Herkys, including the ones that débuted at Fry Fest, will be placed on the streets overnight in May.

“The full impact of the Herkys is to see them [revealed] all at once,” Arens said.

While specific locations have yet to be announced, the statues will stand from May until September, then be auctioned off to various locations in Iowa City and Coralville.

One UI student is excited to see the new dimension the additional Herkys will add to the Iowa City community.

“I think the project will add another layer of quirkiness to a downtown that has already seen graffiti benches, tree scarves and public pianos,” said UI freshman Chris Higgins.

“I think the project will add another layer of quirkiness to a downtown that has already seen graffiti benches, tree scarves and public pianos,” Higgins said.

But although Herky will get a facelift, officials believe that it will retain the significance to the public.

“This is a figure that everyone recognizes and appreciates, a symbol for community spirit,” Bollinger said.

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.