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March 22, 2001, SEATTLE -- Students at the Hutch School got to participate in public art today as they painted a life-size coloring book pig. The pig is one of the 200 pigs to be featured in the Seattle public art project, Pigs on Parade.

“If it was a real pig we wouldn’t be having so much fun,” said aspiring artist Todd Greenberg, a nine-year old student from Florida, who tells of his last painting project ­ painting his hair green at camp. “But if he was real we could ride him to Gameworks and play all day long!”

The pig is one of the 200 pigs that will be seen hogging the sidewalks of downtown Seattle in the first ever Pigs on Parade beginning in May. Presented by the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID) Retail Core, Starbucks Coffee Company and AT&T Broadband, Pigs on Parade is a public art project that will benefit the Pike Place Market Foundation. Through Pigs on Parade they hope to raise $1 million as seed money for a Market Endowment.

Seattle Art Supply, a sponsor of Pigs on Parade, decided to work collaboratively with the Hutch School in adorning their pig. The Hutch School is a uniquely supportive learning environment for school age patients and family members who are temporarily living in Seattle while undergoing serious medical treatment through Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. The kids at the school come from all over the country and go to school there while family members are in treatment. The school currently has 40 students enrolled and 30 of them got to participate in painting the pig.

“We have an ongoing relationship with the Hutch School, providing them with many of the supplies that they use in their art program,” said Russ Williams of Seattle Art Supply. “We thought it would be fun to have the kids help paint the pig and a great way to introduce them to community involvement.”

The fiberglass pig, which is approximately 40 pounds and 3 feet by 6 feet long, was painted all white with black outline drawings of children, butterflies, art supplies and nature. Like an oversized coloring book the students chose parts to paint filling in color between the black lines.

“I wanted it to look like a coloring book, with images that kids would be interested in,” said pig artist Kate Endle. “I wanted it to say something about creativity and art supplies since that’s who we are.”

Endle, an illustrator and painter, works part time for Seattle Art Supply in display and as a supervisor. She also works in an art program with kids at Children’s Hospital and has illustrated numerous projects, including a children’s book called “What Do You Want to Be?” by Kate Davis.

“I like the pig because its big,”said Anchorage, Alaska student North Asplunde who painted the pig’s underbelly in a myriad of colors and says that art is his favorite subject.

Nancy Mednick, artist in residence at the Hutch School, was excited to have her students participate in Pigs On Parade. Mednick runs the art program at the school and is involved with children and art in many vehicles through her organization Heart and Soul and also through Children’s Hospital. Mednick has had many personal experiences with cancer, including losing two parents to colon cancer and being personally challenged with ovarian cancer.

“No matter how badly I felt, my art came from a happy place. With that in mind I brought art projects to hospitalized children,” said Mednick. “I sat with them at their bedside doing art projects and hoped that I could provide some relief from the effects of illness by sharing the power and joy of expressing yourself through art.”

The “coloring book pig” felt their power and joy today. Rachel, the pig beloved by all children who enter the Market, never had it so good.

Editors Note: Attached are photo files from the Pig Painting Party at the Hutch School.

Photo credit: Matthew Landkammer, Seattle Art Supply

Christine Stepherson (206) 343-0250