Jean Close & Lou Wendel

Cedar Rapids


I think one of the best parts of being a Hawkeye is living vicariously through your children during their first encounter with Herky. As native Iowa fans, our children are born to live, drink, and breath Hawkeye sports and the first time they get to “high five” or hug Herky at an Iowa event is a special moment as there is a magic there that everyone can feel.

about the artist

Jean is a life-long resident of Cedar Rapids. After earning her MA in art education from the University of Northern Iowa, she taught high school art. She then began a freelance art business creating illustrations for clients including Rockwell, Bandag, and Amana Refrigeration. After eighteen years of freelance work, she accepted a position as vice president for a small printing company. Since her retirement, Jean has enjoyed working in various forms of art media.

Upon graduation from the Kansas City Art Institute, Lou’s extensive and diverse career has included lithography and paintings in juried exhibitions; stained glass restoration in public spaces; instruction in Linn/Johnson county art education; and owning Creative Hand Gallery. She is currently the retail manager at the Museum Gate, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art where regional and area artists are featured.


Road Trip Herky displays routes taken by Heartland Express trucks across the United States. As they travel the roads through each state, you can observe natural resources, points of interest, and special events. Herky can be seen doing activities along the way – fishing, driving a race car, wrestling an alligator, and much more. The artists spent over 500 hours researching and illustrating this Herky!


Heartland Express, 901 N Kansas Ave, North Liberty

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