Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Swine salutes summer in fair fashion

By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        This is 53rd in a series spotlighting pigs from the Big Pig Gig Public Art Project taking place in Cincinnati, Covington and Newport. Find past pig profiles at

        Artist: Karen Kelly, Indian Hill. The artist is one of the founders of Summerfair.

        Sponsor: Summerfair.

        This pig's pen: Lytle Park.

        What's the pig idea? She is dressed to go to Summerfair at Coney Island.

        You were inspired by: All my thoughts about summer and those who helped me start the Mount Adams Summer Festival (now called Summerfair) in 1968 as a tribute to the opening of the new Marx Theater at the Playhouse in the Park.

        Completing the project took: Two months working full time.

        Swine over matter: Acrylic plaster, fiberglass, wire mesh, paint and Sculpey, a clay material.

        Your high on the hog was: Working with my son, Marshall, who made the movable platform and mounted the pig to the platform so we could move her in and out of the garage.

        Pig peeve: The hat was the biggest challenge. I had many nights when I couldn't sleep because I was figuring out how to make the hat. I baked the hat for two nights before Summerfair and affixed it the next morning.

        Best pig tale: The sunflower necklace was made one blossom at a time, oven fired and painted. I tested the first two in the oven and forgot about them. Stinking gray smoke filled the air. We opened doors, windows, used vent fans and brought in an air filter to try to clean the air. We put my two Jack Russell terriers, Molly and Luci, in another part of the house. Luci's protest was to eat a tropical plant and throw up on the carpet.

        My favorite pork dish: I couldn't think about pork while doing this.

        The materials cost: $500, including the cost of a pasta machine that was used in the production.


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