Chalk artist Herb Hake exhibit

This+caricature+of+President+Mark+Nook+is+by+Emily+Schroeder%2C+senior+fine+arts+painting+major.+It+will+be+featured+Sept.+24+at+the+Herb+Hake+exhibit.
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Chalk artist Herb Hake exhibit

This caricature of President Mark Nook is by Emily Schroeder, senior fine arts painting major. It will be featured Sept. 24 at the Herb Hake exhibit.

This caricature of President Mark Nook is by Emily Schroeder, senior fine arts painting major. It will be featured Sept. 24 at the Herb Hake exhibit.

Courtesy Photo

This caricature of President Mark Nook is by Emily Schroeder, senior fine arts painting major. It will be featured Sept. 24 at the Herb Hake exhibit.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

This caricature of President Mark Nook is by Emily Schroeder, senior fine arts painting major. It will be featured Sept. 24 at the Herb Hake exhibit.

ALLISON MAZZARELLA, Staff Writer

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On Sept. 24, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Rod Library is hosting the grand opening of the Herb Hake exhibit.  Hake worked at UNI for 34 years, primarily with radio and TV broadcasting.

“Herb Hake was instrumental in the creation of the UNI public radio station,” said Jessica Cruz, exhibit preparator and outreach coordinator.

Hake first started at UNI, then the Iowa State Teacher’s College, in the theater department.  However, while much of Hake’s focus was on radio and TV broadcasting, he was active in many other areas.

“He was really this kind of renaissance man who did a little bit of everything,” Cruz said.

Hake was also an artist and a historian.  He wrote books and was active in the Cedar Falls Historical Society.

Carl Jenkins, who will be speaking at the grand opening, worked for Hake at UNI (Iowa State Teachers College) in Broadcasting Services as a student assistant for about 10 years.

“He was a very innovative person,” Jenkins said. “He had a long history of working in a field that he didn’t professionally study for.”

While Hake was active in many fields,  the exhibit mainly focuses on his chalk talks.

“He would draw a figure and morph it into a different figure by adding lines,” Jenkins said.

“The thing most people know him from are his chalk talks,” Cruz said.  “He would drive around and do these drawings and share the history of these different places that he was visiting in Iowa.  So, we have this amazing collection of his drawings that he did.  Some of them are historical, and he has a lot that are specific to Cedar Falls and UNI.  We wanted to show off these drawings that haven’t been exhibited before.”

The exhibit will have three separate sections, according to Cruz.

“We have one that is going to be an interactive corner,” Cruz said.  “Hake was a big puzzler too.  You can play some of the games he would play with his family.”

Additionally, there will be displays of his broadcasts.

“He had an extremely distinct speaking style,” Jenkins said.  “Once you heard it, you would recognize it again anywhere.”

At the exhibit, there will also be the opportunity to learn about broadcasting history at UNI, as well as showing video snippets of his chalk talks.  The third section will focus on his drawings.

Emily Schroeder, a senior fine arts painting major, will have some of her artwork displayed at the exhibit. Having worked at the museum for several years, the curator, Nathan Arndt, reached out to her.

“His [Nathan’s] intention [for displaying Schroeder’s art] was to tie it back into the university and the students, and work on connecting that part of the past to this part of the present,” Schroeder said.

One of Schroeder’s pieces is of UNI President Mark Nook, and true to Hake’s own artwork, contains hidden imagery.

“Even if you’re not an art person, one of the really fun things about his drawings is that there’s always hidden imagery in them,” Cruz said. “It can be a little bit of a scavenger hunt.”

The purpose of the exhibit, which will be open for about one year, is twofold.

“[The goal] is to shine focus on Herb Hake and also to celebrate Iowa history, as well,” Cruz said. “There is a lot of history in these small towns that he [Hake] loved to share and get people interested in.  So we’re hoping to also get people interested in what he did.”

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