Reflections of U Herky

Describe your Herky in detail. Focus on the visual aspects of your Herky. This Herky is covered head to toe in symmetric, reflective, black pieces of glass.

Summarize any relevant background information: This Herky was created by an alumnus of the University, Kim O’Meara and has worked in the Cedar Rapids School District for over 34 years, as well as all over Eastern Iowa. These days she focusses on her artwork while living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Monterey Bay in Aptos, California. This Herky is featured in the University of Iowa Athletics Office in Carver Hawkeye Arena.

What kinds of appeals does the Herky Use?:

Pathos: This Herky attempts to communicate a sense of identity and togetherness to the people who pass by it. By putting reflective pieces of glass on there, people can LITERALLY see themselves in Herky and can identify with everything he stands for. Herky, with his powerful stance, hands on hips and radiant smile, of strength, oneness, and community. He encourages the people standing in front of him to feel the same. The reflective pieces of glass help get that message across.

Logos: Placing this Herky in Carver Hawkeye is a good logistical decision, not only because of Carver is one of the major hubs of Hawkeye Sports, but the placement also appeals to pathos because it is where graduation ceremonies take place. Students graduating from the local high schools or the University can see themselves reflected in this Herky and know that they are an integral part of the Hawkeye community and they will always have a home here. The appeal of pathos also applies to alumni who come back to see home games at Carver.

Ethos: Kim O’Meara being an alumnus of the University of Iowa, as well as being a long-standing part of the community by teaching in nearby school districts appeals to her ethos because as a long-standing member of the Hawkeye community, creating this Herky is a symbol of her understanding of the importance of Herky.

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?  

This Reflections of U Herky is the second installment. The first installment debuted in 2004 during the first Herky on Parade but was subsequently damaged. Reports of the incident say that parts of the statue were thrown across Johnson Street. The second installment of Reflections of U faced a similar fate. The Gazette says, eighty-five days after the statue was debuted in Herky on Parade, it was vandalized by people climbing on it, causing it to shatter at the knees. This ironically adds to the ethos and tenacity of the artist because she inevitably had to re-do both statues. The tenacity of the artist kind of lends itself to the ethos of Herky, in general, as well.

The story of both installations of the Herky has been vandalized and destroyed but eventually was rebuilt is very inspiring to me. It is a good example of the tenacity and endurance of the Hawkeye community all in that one (two) Herky, and to be able to see your reflection in that feels important. Kind of fate-like. It allows people to see themselves in that tenacity and acknowledge that they too are tenacious and determined.

This Herky opens up the possibility of feeling like you are a part of the University of Iowa community.


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