High Marks--Book statues celebrate community’s literary life

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Anyone associated with The University of Iowa knows that books are big in Iowa City. But in June, they got even bigger—five feet tall, to be exact.

As part of a public art project in the vein of 2004’s Herkys on Parade series, more than two dozen book statues were unveiled across the UI community, including Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, and the Eastern Iowa Airport. BookMarks—Book Art in Johnson County was organized as a celebration of reading, writing, and book art by representatives of Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature and three area libraries.

The statues, which will be on display through October, were designed by regional artists and sponsored by local businesses. Each one illustrates a different theme. UI Libraries, for example, based its statue on The Forever War by Iowa Writers’ Workshop alum Joe Haldeman, while the UI athletics department placed one at Carver-Hawkeye Arena called The World According to Gable. The Iowa Memorial Union sponsored a statue identifying 47 things every UI student should do before graduation.

To access a map of the statues or upload your own photo, see bookmarksiowa.org.

photos by Tom Jorgensen

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© The University of Iowa 2009