Tangled in Iowa Herky


Describe your Herky in detail. Focus on the visual aspects of your Herky. 

Visually, this Herky has a lot of elements that come together as one. All throughout, there are black and white outline details, some that very fine and intricate. However, these monotone patterns are interspersed with vibrant depictions of the things that the artists believed represented the state of Iowa, including some easily recognizable landmarks and images such as the state capitol building, the Herky logo, stalks of corn, a biker holding a sign that says “Ragbrai,” Hayden Fryway, and much more. Overall, although the Herky contains many smaller images, they are still tied together by the design theme.  

Summarize, in your own words, any relevant background information about your Herky, such as who created it, where it is placed, if it is still standing, how long has it been standing, why it was created, and so forth. 

This Herky was created by the Clear Creek Amana High School Art Club, which is an organization for those with an interest in the various mediums of art outside of the classroom. This Herky is located at the high school just outside of the Iowa City area in the town of Tiffin. As to why the Herky was created, I believe it was an opportunity given to the Tiffin high school, similar to opportunities presented to local Iowa City schools in part to increase the state’s residents, and especially those in the area’s, pride and sense of connectedness to the University of Iowa and Iowa in general. Furthermore, although Tiffin is not far from the school campus, it is not formally considered as part of the Iowa City area and in comparison to Iowa City, is a smaller town. Therefore, I think this opportunity was a way to engage more of the Tiffin residents.  

What kinds of appeals does the Herky use (pathos, logos, kairos, ethos)? The Herky statue does not have to employ all of them. What specific emotions does it aim to inspire? Does the Herky reflect or respond to a specific cultural moment or public sentiment? What credibility/authority does the Herky possess based on its creator, or its associations? 

Pathos: I think more than any of the other rhetoric tools, it uses pathos the most because the Herky relies on using a lot of Iowan motifs and traditions that elicit different emotions depending on the audience. For example, if the audience is someone who grew up in Iowa, a lot of the images are familiar and spark emotions such as nostalgia, comfort, and even pride and identity. Perhaps being a midwestern farming state, I believe a lot of Iowa pride comes not from the attractions and landmarks of the state, but from memories tied to experiences within it. Thus, the Herky does well to include images of people and more vague landmarks because it allows the audience to come up with their own memories in association with them.  

Ethos: Regarding the ethos component, the creators themselves do not add much credibility to the Herky itself, being that it was created by high school students. However, I do believe the contents painted upon the Herky do, in fact, add a lot of credibility and significance to it. Since the goal of this Herky’s design was to capture some of the most memorable aspects of the state’s history and attractions, these many items give the statue a sense of importance. For example, Hayden Fryway is a well-respected figure in the community and Ragbrai is a well-known cycling event to name a few. 

What kinds of values does the Herky communicate? Does it aim to inspire us to act in response to other social or environmental issues, does it encourage us to feel school spirit, does it highlight the value of a particular institution? How does your Herky aim to change your mood, mind, willingness to act? 

The Herky embodies many values of pride – pride of where one is from or grew up, pride in the history of Iowa, and pride in the state’s farmers are some of the ones I picked up. In addition, the Herky inspires its audience to recognize and appreciate the natural landscapes of Iowa by including images of farms, plains, the state flower and bird, and some farming animals. The Herky may inspire some to get more involved with the history, attractions, and events in the state or at the very least, appreciate the different cultural facets of the state.  


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