A six-foot-tall pig made its debut Thursday night at an unveiling ceremony for the upcoming PIGShibition project in Fayetteville.
The event is a fundraising and awareness effort by the Ozark Literacy Council, a nonprofit organization that aims to help provide basic literacy and language instruction for area residents.
About 25 pigs will be sponsored by local business, adapted and painted by local artists, and then auctioned off this fall.
But not before they’re placed all over Fayetteville in July to serve as a community art installation.
The project was inspired by similar public art exhibits including CowParade, an event which has been staged in more than 75 cities worldwide.
In Arkansas, however, we prefer pigs.
Following a call to local artists, organizers received 141 ideas from 50 artists on how the pigs could be customized. Those submissions can be seen in the online Pork-folio.
Pigs can be sponsored for $3,000 or $6,000. The higher priced package will allow groups to keep their sponsored pigs forever. The lower priced pigs will be auctioned in October during the “Piggies go to Market” event inside the Fayetteville Town Center. All pigs will include a plaque with the name and logo of their adopted sponsor.
Selected artists will receive an honorarium of $500 each to customize a pig.
Fayetteville sculptor Mike Davis Gutierrez designed the original pig and Glynn Samuels, who owns G&D Fiberglass in Hindsville, supplied the fiberglass molds.
Wendy Poole, the executive director of Ozark Literacy Council, said 12 pigs had been sponsored as of Thursday night. Would-be sponsors should call 521-8250 for more information.
Visit the PIGShibition website at pigshibition.org, on Facebook at facebook.com/Pigshibition, and on Twitter @PIGShibition.