After a successful inaugural “Oink for Owensboro” fundraising event in 2018, Kentucky Legend is bringing back the art-infused community event that raised $60,000 for 12 local charities last year. In 2019, eight more pigs will be added throughout the city and, with each sponsoring business donating $5,000, an additional $40,000 will be given to local nonprofit organizations in the coming year.
Made of fiberglass and standing at over 3 feet tall, each pig serves as a unique canvas for local artists and business owners to showcase their particular style and theme. The pigs are ordered through River City Scenic, Inc. out of Cincinnati, Ohio, a company that specializes in various art mediums, including sculpting and fiberglass for the fabrication of theatrical scenery props and displays.
This year’s invitation-only “Pigxhibit,” will be held May 9 at the Owensboro Convention Center as a way to showcase the 2019 pigs for their participating business sponsors and nonprofit recipients. Save the date invitations are due to go out March 25 and will serve as notifications to some area nonprofits that are still unaware of their selection and the donation being made in their honor.
Mayor Tom Watson, whose 2018 pig “Estes” sits inside the Owensboro Public Schools elementary school from which it got its name, has commissioned another pig for 2019.
“I love the fact that the money paid for the pigs is a nonprofit of our choice; it’s a great way to be different from other communities,” Watson said. “We chose the Daniel Pitino Shelter last year because my wife and I served on the board for 25 plus years and I really believe they do a wonderful job serving an underserved population.”
Local artist and graphic designer Aaron Kizer, who is known for his speed art, was selected to paint the community pig for the Mayor’s Mile downtown this year.
“I’m honored to have been asked to paint Owensboro’s pig,” Kizer said. “I’m always excited to be a part of anything Owensboro.”
Kentucky Legend said they will only be introducing eight pigs this year, as opposed to the 12 last year because “2018 was the inaugural year of the project, and budget constraints often prevent companies from participating consecutively.”
Out of respect and consideration for those generous donations and the impact they have on local businesses, Kentucky Legend has decided that there will be no new pigs in 2020. Instead, the 20 pigs from the two prior years will all be displayed throughout the city as part of a 20 pigs in 2020 campaign.
While Kentucky Legend was not able to release the names and themes of this year’s pigs or the names of all the selected nonprofits to the public until they are all officially notified, they have released the businesses that will be participating.
This year will be the first year for sponsors Don Moore and Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, the latter of which has agreed to sponsor two pigs in 2019. Mayor Tom Watson, the International Bar-B-Q Festival, OZ Tyler Distillery, Old National Bank and, of course, Kentucky Legend will be sponsoring pigs for their second consecutive year.