Friday, July 28, 2000

Pig Parade: Porky Play'a

Porker pokes fun at super cool dudes

By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

| ZOOM |
        This is 90th in a series spotlighting pigs from the Big Pig Gig Public Art Project taking place in Cincinnati, Covington and Newport. Find past pig profiles and event details at

        “Play'a” is a player. “He has fine clothes, nice cars, lots of money and girlfriends,” says Bill Thomas, art teacher at Woodward High School. “He can style and profile, and he makes a super cool impression.”

        Woodward High students in grades eight through 12 created Porky Play'a. “It was actually a design by committee,” Mr. Thomas says. “When I was teaching at Withrow three years ago, Ryan Houston, a very clever student, turned in a classroom texture drawing assignment into a Coogi style sweater pattern, and I borrowed his idea for an art assignment we did at Woodward. When the pig design was due, the students thought it would make a good design for the pig.”

        Sponsor: Louise Semple Taft Foundation.

        This pig's pen: In front of City Hall.

        You were inspired by: “Our pig is dressed in a very expensive designer sweater. Accessories include designer sunglasses and a (fake) diamond earring.”

        What's the pig idea? “The idea is to poke fun at what some people feel is important. Many of the students reacted negatively to the pig, saying "players are fake.' ”

        You want people to look at this pig and think: “This is one cool swine.”

        Completing the project took: Countless hours getting the sunglasses and sweater texture just right. With an unlimited number of painters, the pig was finished in about two weeks.

        What's the matter? Automobile acrylic paints and about 2 gallons of auto body filler.

        Pig peeve: The diamond earring got ripped off right away.

        Best pig tale: “We needed some inspiration for the pig so I went out and bought the cheapest imitation Coogi sweater and sunglasses I could find and we used it as a model. I have a picture of myself and the pig wearing the same outfit,” Mr. Thomas says.


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