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  • Writer's picture CAROLINE LEYES '18

Welcome Back, SUA Pig!

On August 26th, the pig statue was finally welcomed back to the SUA community after a summer of brainstorming and painting. The pig returned with a brand new makeover from a selected group of St. Ursula Academy artists, led by Sarah Teuschl ‘17. The new design features a flower scene on a summer day, compared to the old design of a musical night life in the city.

SUA students came together during lunch that Friday to meet by the pig and enjoy ice cream sandwiches in celebration of the hard work put into revamping the statue. It was a fun way to show off the pig’s new look and vote on a new name, which was later announced as Petunia. Elizabeth Geraghty ‘18 says, “I like seeing how much joy everyone gets from the pig.”

SUA's young artists busily work on Petunia's makeover.

Headed by art teacher Mr. Nicaise, the process began with the removal of the old paint and thick outer coating from the pig. Due to the fiberglass material of the statue and previous paint job, the pig had to be sandblasted, which is a way to clean a surface with sand and air pressure. The pig statue was then “delivered and ready to accept new paint,” according to Mr. Nicaise. The group began to plan the new design that would be painted on the dull pig that sat in the art room with only a gray primer base to start.

The SUA art students were drawn to paint the scene of flowers because they were inspired by the beautiful landscapes in our neighborhood of Eden Park. Shannon Healey ‘17 explains, “we wanted that beauty to be present 24/7 at The Academy.” Emily Wachter ‘18 described the pig as a representation of how “SUA helps us to grow.” When redoing the pig, Katie Schulte ‘18 said, “It was crucial that the new design would be a timeless representation of the St. Ursula community. To do so, we incorporated elements of the St.Ursula young women as nurturers and learners into the painting by using a variety of vibrant flowers as a symbol of growth and diversity in our community.”

The proud artists pose with their prided pig, Petunia.

After the idea was planned, the girls began to paint. The process took all summer and multiple weeks into the school year. There were many coats of paint and a lot of effort that went into creating the small details on the pig. In the end, the work was worth it and The Academy has an elaborate and cherished pig featured on its campus. Shannon notes that “it’s an amazing feeling” to see the pig everyday. Emily agrees, adding, it’s “nice to have the recognition for the pieces we work hard on.”

SUA’s pig is just one of 400 displayed in the Greater Cincinnati area. The purpose of the pigs is to support the annual Flying Pig Marathon. Also, these eye-catching statues represent the city’s nickname “Porkopolis” which originated in the 1800s. After you check out The Academy’s new pig, be on the lookout for more statues around Cincinnati.

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