Ballard artist goes hog wild
As an artist, Ballard's Lane Hill may be known for the shows she does three times a year, or for her oil paintings of swimmers in pools, her "trademark," if you will. But she never expected to be known for creating pigs.
In the summer of 2001, downtown Seattle hosted a spectacle of pigs. 170 decorated fiberglass pigs hogged downtown sidewalks, each in the likeness of Rachel, the Pike Place Market Foundation's beloved piggybank. In 2007, in recognition of the Pike Place Market's Centennial birthday celebration, the Market Foundation is reviving this successful event. The Return of Pigs on Parade will feature 100 new artist-adorned, fiberglass porcine wonders on display from June through September.
Pigs on Parade 2007 offers 100 sponsors the opportunity to host a fiberglass sculpture and 100 artists the opportunity to adorn a pig. Currently, 90 pigs are sponsored and artists are hard at work adorning their pigs.
Five years ago Hill, 50, joined the ranks of artists participating in Pigs on Parade, the Pike Place Market fundraiser. Her pig, "Ballpark Frank," which depicted Safeco Field, won honors. When organizers decided to reenact Pigs on Parade this year to honor the centennial of the Market, Hill was quick to get in line. She applied for and was chosen to be one of the artists tasked with creating a pig.
This time around, Hill has created "Swine Dive," a pig that features a welded-on diving board and swimmers inside of the pig.
After the festival, the pigs will head to their summer homes on sidewalks throughout downtown Seattle where they will remain on display through September. On October 12 2007, the pigs will be auctioned and all proceeds will benefit the Market Foundation's efforts to fund the Market's services for low-income people - the clinic, senior center, preschool and food bank.
Hill says participating in the Pigs on Parade event is a dream come true for a woman who likes to do public art projects.
"This project comes with great parameters," she said. "You know the rules, and know what you can do. It is fun to see all of the different approaches people take to the project. It doesn't feel like a competition, and everyone has a great time. People can't wait to see what everyone has done," she said.
Hill said the competition is also a wonderful opportunity for artists to get to know people. As an artist, she said, you often disappear. With Pigs on Parade, you have a chance to become known to people.
Pigs on Parade come with risks attached. In fact, there is a "Pig Hospital" where the pigs go when they are vandalized. Hill worked at the hospital originally, helping restore pigs. That's how she got involved in the project initially.
"There have been great memories already, being involved in this project," she said. "With Ballpark Frank, he was drawn on with a sharpie. I told people he 'took one for the team,' He had street cred with the other pigs," she said.
Hill said one of the best benefits of working on Pigs on Parade is working with the Market Foundation and being able to help raise money for a good cause.
Hill has a studio that people can come to buy art, but they need to make appointments. She said the studio at 28th and Market (in the Senpro Building) is part of a rejuvenated couple of blocks in Ballard. There are other artists in the building, including glass artists and painters.
"There is a lot going on. This end of the street is really changing. We have great stores, and a wonderful community. A lot is happening," she said.
Pigs will be in a parade on Saturday, June 2 beginning at Westlake Park and winding down Pine Street into Pike Place Market where they will remain scattered throughout the Market during the Centennial Street Festival. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 and 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 3. For more about Pigs on Parade, go to www.pigsonparade.org. For more about Lane Hill, you can contact her at her studio in Ballard at 2645 Market St NW, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 817 8794,