UI plans Tigerhawk street murals across campus

The UI coordinated with the City of Iowa City and LL Pelling Co. to paint a Tigerhawk logo on the T. Anne Cleary Walkway Jefferson Street intersection on Aug. 25. The UI is planning a second installation on Market Street.


Lillie Hawker

The painting of a tiger hawk on Jefferson Street is seen in Iowa City on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022.

Colin Votzmeyer, News Reporter

Two University of Iowa crosswalks will represent Black and Gold.

The UI commissioned the painting of a Tigerhawk mural that spans across Jefferson Street and the T. Anne Cleary Walkway crosswalk, and the university plans to install more on campus.

The Tigerhawk logo was painted on the crosswalk on Aug. 25. A second mural will be painted later this week on Market Street by Trowbridge Hall.

The UI selected LL Pelling Co. for the painting project.

Marianne Wainwright, LL Pelling Co. painting division manager, wrote in an email to *The Daily Iowan* the UI contacted the North Liberty company to install multiple street murals.

“We had a crew of five people, and it took almost all day,” Wainwright wrote.

Wainwright said the crew used standard roadway marking paint with reflective beads on the crosswalks so the logo illuminates at night and silica sand to prevent slipping. The Tigerhawk stencil was specially ordered, and it came out to be 15 feet tall and 24 feet wide.

A second logo installation is in the works for Market Street on Thursday.

“It will be slightly smaller in size — 35 feet by 30 feet — but the Tigerhawk will be the same using the same stencil,” Wainwright said.

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The UI coordinated with the City of Iowa City to get the proper agreements for the projects.

Iowa City City Engineer Jason Havel said the university was initially inspired by similar works on other college campuses.

“It seemed like something that we would allow, and it’s something that the university was interested in doing,” Havel said.

Chris Brewer, UI public relations manager, wrote in an email to the *DI* that the UI’s main aim for the installations was to boost Hawkeye spirit.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the city and display the Tigerhawk at prominent areas on campus, creating a sense of place and instilling pride throughout the community,” he wrote.

Jake Vardaman, a UI graduate of the class of 1995 and current Iowa City resident, first saw the installation process on a UI Twitter post and replied with an ecstatic GIF.

“I thought, ‘It’s about dang time,’” Vardaman said. “Let’s see more of these. I love it.”

Vardaman, who has a background in design, said his excitement comes from his long appreciation for Tigerhawk logo, which he deems “iconic.” He visited the painting with his family soon after its completion.

“It’s a bit of a photo-op,” Vardaman said. “I think people stop and look at it and maybe take a picture. I took a picture of my kids with it in the background.”

Vardaman said the installation celebrates local talent, beautifies the community, and inspires pride in what Iowa City and the UI have to offer.

“I was excited because I love to see the town adding color,” Vardaman said. “It’s something that everybody can celebrate, and it’s such a good logo that it just looks beautiful when you see it.”