CINCINNATI - Oversized, brightly painted fiberglass pigs are being placed around Cincinnati in a revived public art display to welcome visitors to the World Choir Games.
More than 400 pigs individually designed by artists were placed around the area in 2000 in a display known as the Big Pig Gig. The city revived the program on a smaller scale this year, with about 100 painted pigs.
A Northside artist, Kate Demske, is bridging a gap between her two pigs.
"It gives us a chance to talk about what we do," said Demske. "It's great exposure and I think it's really great for the city."
Demske is living her dream of creating art, but did not realize what path she would take."
"Possibly still life painting, maybe children's book illustrations," said Demske. "My parents wouldn't let me put a screw in the wall, power tools were not on my radar."
Now 17 years as a blacksmith, the veteran three dimensional artist, cuts through, bangs out, and tempers her steel creations. For this project, she is following her plan for a scaled down size of the Robeling Bridge that connects Covington to Cincinnati over the Ohio River. She calls it "Suspension Pigs."
"What [I was] me cutting earlier was notches in it, because I want it to have a curve, but I want it to be a curve. I want it to have abrupt points," she said.
20 pigs were already released around the city, and Demske's will be set loose on July 2.
The displays are planned for Fountain Square, the public library and other downtown locations where they'd be easily seen by tens of thousands of people expected to visit for the international choral competition next month.
The pig art is a reference to the city's nickname, "Porkopolis," from its history as a hog-butchering center in the 1800s.
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