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Tuesday, June 19, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Visual Arts

Oink! Pigs on Parade in Seattle

Seattle Times staff reporter

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We're talking about Pigs on Parade, of course - the 125-or-so fiberglass pigs sitting and standing on street corners all over downtown Seattle. (There are others at University Village, Fremont and Madison Park, too.) They're not just a tourist attraction, although you can bet your out-of-town guests this summer are going to pepper you with questions about the piggies. So here's what you need to know to sound in-the-know:

The pigs have been with us since Memorial Day weekend and are here to stay through September. Local artists dream up designs for the pigs; sponsors then pay a hefty sum to either choose an artist design or decorate their own. (It's not too late to sponsor a pig. For information, visit www.pigsonparade.org.)

In October, the pigs hit the auction block (yes, a bit kinder than the type of block where their real-life counterparts go). Proceeds benefit the Pike Place Market Foundation, which helps low-income residents and historical-preservation efforts.

While some in the arts community question the validity of the pigs as art, our sources at Pike Place Market say the pigs are getting "an incredible response" from all over the country.

We're looking for your response: Join our Design-A-Pig Contest, and you might see your very own pig displayed on our pages. Choose your own theme, or design a pig for Seafair, 4th of July or Labor Day and send it back to us. Pigs could be popping up all summer long.

Pam Sitt can be reached at 206-464-2376 or psitt@seattletimes.com.

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