“Pigasus” may not be as graceful as her mythical near-namesake, but she has her feet on the ground.
The prodigious pink porker – a 3-foot high, 100-pound fiberglass sculpture – landed on the northwest corner of Wyatt and Madison this week sporting running shoes, wings and a big grin.
The beast belongs to Don and Meredith Roose, who bid for the artwork at an Oct. 20 auction in Seattle.
“We thought we’d share our pig with the community for a few months,” Don Roose said.
The sculpture was one of 162 pigs commissioned to raise money for the Pike Place Market.
“Pigasus” was not one of the 40 elite pigs selected for the live auction, Roose admits, but was relegated with other “second-tier” pigs to an online eBay auction held at computer terminals throughout the Seattle convention center.
“Bidding went on for several days,” Roose said. “At one point, we were bidding on four pigs. I got a little nervous – what if we wound up with all of them?”
When their $1,800 bid for “Pigasus” prevailed – and others fell short – the Rooses came home with one pig, relieved.
“Pigasus” might seem silly to some, Roose says, but he embraces the sculpture’s playful spirit.
“I got her because life’s too serious, especially in these times. You’ve got to find a way to laugh,” Roose said. “The pig is so wonderfully whimsical.
“She’s so pink, and she’s got those crazy socks and shoes.”
The Rooses’ sculpture is not the work of an individual artist, but was commissioned by Washington Mutual from design firm “Inner Visions.”
“She was a corporate pig,” Roose said. “Now she’s a hometown pig.”
The 162 “Pigs on Parade,” customized by artists from generic fiberglass molded pigs, were displayed throughout downtown Seattle for six months before the auction that raised $500,000 for market foundation.
The animal auction fundraising gambit has been growing in popularity for the last few years.
“Pigasus” has a cousin at city hall – the salmon commission from artist Sally Prangley Rooney by Puget Sound Environmental Learning Center founder Debbi Brainerd.
The big fish is slated for the auction block next April, with proceeds to benefit PSELC’s salmon reclamation project.
The pig’s current display site is the front yard of The Wyatt House, one of two retirement centers Roose owns on the island.
In a few weeks, Roose says, “Pigasus” will be moved to Madison Avenue Retirement Center for display there.
Ultimately, the pig will find a permanent home in Roose’s wife’s garden.
First, however, he is extending an invitation to interested Bainbridge residents who might wish to host “Pigasus.”
Roose says he is not worried that his prize will be vandalized at the Wyatt site.
“I think the fact that it’s on such as exposed corner will give her some protection,” Roose said, “and she’s a tough pig – she’ll take care of herself.”