The Plant Pig

Once upon a time the city of Seattle had one of those "let's put decorated animals all over the place" fundraising events.  The time was the summer of 2001 and the animals were pigs. Pigs were chosen because the pig statues would be auctioned off to raise money for the Pike Place Market clinic and there is a famous pig statue in the middle of the market.  In order to be chosen to decorate a pig, each artist had to propose a theme.

Rachel, the original Pike Place Market Pig
I thought: How would a pig feel, finding itself in the middle of a city, standing on a hard cement sidewalk, surrounded by honking cars and exhaust fumes, stuck between endless rows of buildings that shut out the sunshine? Wouldn't it dream of being back in the country?

That was my idea for "The Plant Pig." I decorated her with elements of a landscape, representing her dream of being free in the countryside.

"The Plant Pig", painting in progress, on my back porch.
 I painted lush green leaves that came up from the ground, hugging her sides. Behind that I made a beautifu blue sky dotted with white fluffy clouds and topped it off with a bright orange sun shining down on her forehead. 

"The Plant Pig" was placed on the boardwalk at the Seattle waterfront where she entertained children and kept street vendors company all summer long.

When the auction came, at the end of summer, "The Plant Pig" was bought by a man who lived outside the city. He took her home and placed her in his garden. Her dream of escaping the city and being out in nature came true.

"The Plant Pig" on the Seattle waterfront with admirers, Summer 2001. Photo by Paul Klein.

Rebecca with "The Plant Pig" Summer 2001, photo by Michelle Templeton