Sunday, October 1, 2000

Pig Parade: A Walk in the Pork

Artist used a window of opportunity

By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        This is 155th 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

        Artists are solitary people. They like to work in private. But Sally Wellington Dodge is the only Big Pig Gig artist who painted her pig with people watching. She worked in the window of Closson's.

        Ms. Dodge, 60, of Phoenix, lived in Cincinnati for 16 years and has been showing her paintings at Closson's Gallery for more than 30 years.

        Sponsor: Closson's

[photo] | ZOOM |
        This pig's pen: Corner, Fourth and Race at Closson's.

        You were inspired by: Closson's wanted a painting on the pig, and they said I was the piggiest artist they knew. I came back to Cincinnati and decided to paint what I saw in Eden Park.

        What's the pig idea? The original title was A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Walk in the Pork. It has scenes of the park filled with people. The “Swine of the Night” is on the back and, of course, had to appear in the moonlight. The people are ridiculous people with all of their foibles. The pigs are looking at the human beings as if they were bizarre.

        Completing the project took: Four weeks and two days.

        Your high on the hog was: I was supposed to paint the pig in Closson's back room, but a friend suggested that I paint it in Closson's window. It was crazy. It was fun. There were lots of surprises.

        Pig peeve: Have you ever used fiberglass? It's like working with cotton candy. It was almost impossible to get it to do what you want it to do.

        Best pig tale: People would knock on the store window, then come inside and ask to take a picture of the artist painting a pig. One retired man came day after day and just sat there and chuckled.

        My favorite pork dish: Mu Shu Pork.

        What do you call this pig: I kept thinking of “Queen Mary floating in the Night.”

        The materials cost: If you want to include my airline ticket that Closson's paid for it's quite a lot.

        Do you consider this art or porkography? It's a lot of both.

        If your pig starred in a movie or opera, who would you cast to play the role? Maria Callas.


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