Cy ventures off campus in Tour de Cy

Left to Right: Makenzie Heddens and Teresa Albertson stand by the statue of Cy. The statue of Cy will be copied into different molds each with its own unique sense of art.

Lissandra Villa

Cy statues will be venturing off campus and into Ames in an effort to generate proceeds for local charities as a part of Leadership Ames’ project, CyclONE City.

Leadership Ames is a program that the Ames Chamber of Commerce has sponsored for the last 26 years. This year’s class, the 27th, has committed to a project that will go beyond its graduation date to benefit Youth & Shelter Services, Mainstream Living, Inc. and the Ames Emergency Residence Project.

“In the Leadership Ames program, the class is required to provide a project back to the community,” said Teresa Albertson, the artistry co-chairwoman of the CyclONE City project and program assistant for the ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

This requirement led to the 16-member class planning CyclONE City, in which 5-foot-7-inch, fiberglass replicas of the Cy statue that stands outside the Iowa State Alumni Center will be decorated by local artists. They will then go on tour to the sponsoring businesses around Ames.

“This idea had been kind of circling around Ames for a couple of years, but no one had picked it up to do it,” Albertson said.

The class’s initial goals for CyclONE City are to get 25 statues sponsored and raise at least $50,000.

“The amount of money that we make is really undetermined. It will all depend on how many sponsors we get,” said Makenzie Heddens, committee co-chair of CyclONE City and program assistant in the ISU president’s office.

Heddens said the class already has a list of pre-committed businesses, but they have not yet been publicly released.

“It’s an employment opportunity for artists,” Heddens said. “They’ll get a $500 stipend prior to designing the statue for supply costs and … then a $1,000 stipend after completion.”

Artists interested in submitting a design must contact the Leadership Ames class before March 3.

“Any student who has artistic skills and would like to decorate a Cy statue is welcome to [apply to] do so,” Heddens said. One of CyclONE City’s committees will then approve or reject the design.

The statues, which Heddens said cost approximately $1,500 to be made, are being produced in Chicago by a company called Cowpainters, which specializes in fiberglass animals for art projects.

There are three levels of sponsorship for this program. In the first, the sponsoring business will decorate its own state of Cy. The second level allows the sponsor to choose from a portfolio of designs. The final level gives the sponsoring business ownership.

The statues that are not sold will be auctioned off after the tour to generate further proceeds for the charities.

“This has the potential to raise some serious dollars,” Albertson said.

Other cities, including Iowa City, have successfully undertaken similar projects.

“It’s also a great way for the community to get involved, whether you’re an artist or a sponsor, and feel a part of something bigger,” Heddens said. “A lot of times this city and the university are kind of separated, and this is a way to bring it all together.”

The exact dates of the statue tour are still undetermined but, according to the Ames Chamber of Commerce website, is expected to occur later this year.