Herky on Parade will hit the streets in early May.
Jan. 13, 2004
The Parade is growing and faster than expected.
Organizers of Herky on Parade, the public art display scheduled to hit the streets of Coralville, Iowa City and University Heights and the campus of the University of Iowa in May, have already received commitments for 35 statues of the University of Iowa's athletics mascot. And, officials believe the final number could approach 60.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the response of our local business leadership. They've really stepped up and are excited about the potential of the program," said Josh Schamberger, executive director of the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the response of our local business leadership. They've really stepped up and are excited about the potential of the program."
Josh Shamberger, Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau
Sponsors have two levels of participation to choose from: A $1,500 investment gets them a statue that they can decorate on their own after the design has been approved by the committee. A $2,500 investment gets them a statue plus a professional artist who will either execute a design that's already been approved or will work with the sponsor on the creation of an original design.
At these levels of participation the statues remain the property of the organizing committee and will be made available for purchase at a public auction in December. Sponsors can purchase their statue outright for an additional $5,000.
"A little less than one out of every five are being purchased outright," said Rick Klatt, associate director of athletics at the University of Iowa.
Schamberger thinks its possible that 50 to 60 Herky's will be on the streets when Herky on Parade officially kicks off the first week of May. "We are just now really gearing up the sales efforts. We will hit it pretty hard for the next three weeks or so. After that our attention will have to turn toward all that is required to successfully launch the program," he said.
Fans of Herky and art won't have to wait too long to get a taste of what's coming. Klatt said the organizing committee hopes to have Elvis Herky on display at Carver-Hawkeye Arena for UI men's and women's basketball games and wrestling meets during the months of February and March.
"It will be a fun and effective way to promote awareness and understanding of the Parade, and, who knows, we might pick up a few more sponsors as other community and business leaders actually see what we're talking about," he said.
The statues - each 6-feet tall and affixed to a concrete base that will likely weigh in excess of 200 pounds - will be on display from May through November. The exact locations are being approved by the cities of Iowa City, Coralville and University Heights. Locations on the University of Iowa campus will be approved by the appropriate University committees.
Schamberger said the response from artists across the state has been outstanding. "We receive a handful of submissions each day and expect that number to increase as the deadline approaches. And, of course, we're amazed each day at the creativity," he said.
Artists have until the end of the month to submit their Herky on Parade design for approval. Approved designs will be offered to sponsors of a Herky looking for a little assistance in finding the right design for their mascot.
For information about Herky on Parade, call
UI Sports Marketing Office