You may have noticed that the once-winged swine on Oak Park Avenue was abruptly de-winged sometime last week, and that more recently it seems the pig has flown the coop.
Actually, the porker has migrated indoors. Joanna Skubish, special events coordinator for the Avenue Business Association, explained what happened to artist Susan Bjornson’s “Quand Les Cochons Volerait” (When Pigs Fly).
“Someone was probably too heavy!” Skubish said. “People have been climbing on the pigs … they definitely could have cracked it.” She added that business owners and local law enforcement believe that the wing-clipping was not intentional, particularly as both wings were found next to the pig.
The put-upon porcine in question was removed from its concrete base yesterday so that Bjornson could repair it, but “Quand Les Cochons Volerait” should be back on the Avenue soon, just in a slightly altered form.
“The wings will not be put back on for public display,” Skubish said. “You will see a wingless pig back on the street … it will still be called ‘When Pigs Fly.'” The wings will be re-attached just before it and 16 others are auctioned on Oct. 8 at Pleasant Home, 217 S. Home Ave. The proceeds will benefit Hephzibah Children’s Association, the Oak Park Area Arts Council, the Avenue Business Assocation and artist stipends.
“Quand” is not the only the pig in need of a makeover. “Metropolis,” the Gloor Realty-sponsored hog that stands in front of the Pasta Shoppe, has a noticeable ding in its side. But even damaged, the ham has been a hit with villagers. “People have been really sympathetic,” Skubish said. “Someone came and put a Band-Aid on the Gloor Realty pig that said “piggy love.” A mom and her kids were at the pig with wings and they were talking about how they were going to come back and bring Band-Aids.”
Despite the dinging and de-winging, Skubish doesn’t worry too much about the pigs. “The wear and tear … is normal for outdoor art,” she said, “and we knew people would be enjoying the pigs.”