It’s not hard to find a symbol of the University of Iowa around the college’s home in Iowa City — but today (Monday) that expression of support goes to a new level. The university this morning unveiled “Herky on Parade” — 75 versions of the Herky the Hawkeye mascot to honor the 75th anniversary of Kinnick Stadium. U-of-I associate athletic director Rick Klatt says the idea is borrowed from past popular art exhibits around the country that featured decorated pigs and cows. Klatt says it started out as a smaller project. He says they didn’t plan to have 75 Herkys when they started, he says they thought they’d get 20 to 25. But once they got up to 65, they decided it would be neat to have 75 to mark the 75th anniversary of the football stadium. Klatt says it wasn’t hard to get 75 ideas for Herkys once they got started. He says you rely on the creativity of artists in greater eastern Iowa, Iowa, Minneapolis and Denver. He says the real heroes of Herky on Parade are the artists. He says he’s impressed each time he sees a new Herky. He says each Herky is unique and different and stunning in its own way. “I think visitors to our community with just be delighted with the creativity, the level of execution, the level of detail, it’s really remarkable.” Klatt says there’s one classic Herky that celebrates the original, and 74 unique Herkys.There’s gargoyle Herky who has wings and looks like he’s made of concrete, there’s a Dick Tracy Herky dressed in a yellow raincoat like the cartoon character. A Cedar Rapids artist submitted a Herky that she calls the Iowa landscape that consists of 120 hours of painting. There’s Ben Franklin Herky and Iron Man Herky. Another U-of-I icon is also portrayed in the Hayden Herky. Klatt says all the Herkys will be on display throughout Iowa City and then be sold to benefit the university.Sponsors have the opportunity of purchasing the artwork outright, and he says several have already done that. He says the sponsors have until July to buy the Herkys, and then they’ll go out to public auction. You can stop in Iowa City to see the Herkys, or go on-line to:www.HerkyOnParade.com.
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