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Aug 10, 2007
V 35 Issue 32

 
 
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Market Foundation has a GAY BINGO PIG
Market Foundation has a GAY BINGO PIG
By Lynn Dixon There are 100 pigs currently on display in Seattle as part of Pike Place Market's Centennial Pigs on Parade, but only one of them stands to win big at bingo.

Bingo Pig, created by local artist Kathryn Daily and sponsored by Lifelong AIDS Alliance, is one of a 100 fiberglass, artfully adorned pigs commissioned by the Pike Place Market Foundation in honor of the Market's 100th anniversary. Return of the Pigs follows the initial Pigs on Parade in 2001 in which 170 artists created pigs in the likeness of the Market's beloved bronze piggy bank, Rachel.

Daily, a Lifelong AIDS Alliance employee, drew her inspiration from one of Seattle's liveliest and fastest-growing forms of entertainment, Gay Bingo. Lifelong's monthly Gay Bingo nights attract upward of 600 people and have become a substantial fundraiser for this organization dedicated to serving those affected by HIV and AIDS.

"When I tell people I work at Lifelong AIDS Alliance, everyone identifies it with bingo," Daily says.

Bedecked in a red feather boa shaped like the AIDS ribbon and bolted onto a 3-by-4 bingo board, Bingo Pig's origins are unmistakable to anyone who's attended Lifelong's bingo nights. Images of Gay Bingo's most notable characters are painted onto the pig's body. Host Glamazonia, Ms. Intermission, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence decorate the pig's back, foreleg and ear, while the hindquarters are emblazoned with bingo balls.

Based on the bingo baubles covering the numbers on the board, Bingo Pig's still in the game.

"She's a winning pig!" Daily says.

At Gay Bingo night, Bingo Pig could win impressive prizes such as a spa day or a weekend's stay at one of Seattle's swankier hotels. Local businesses donate these prizes to Lifelong AIDS Alliance.

Bingo Pig was introduced to bingo fans at April's Art Appreciation Gay Bingo where Daily put the finishing touches on her pig and took suggestions from the crowd.

"People told me she needed to be sassier," Daily recalls. So she painted the pig's toes and lips red.

Daily says she's been an artist since she was a child. Having earned her undergraduate degree in Fine Art, she's now pursuing a Master's while balancing her artistic passion with her work at Lifelong AIDS Alliance.

"Working for somebody who's making a difference in the community really matters to me," she says.

Daily specializes in mural painting and recently completed a mural for the Southeast Seattle Arts Council. She welcomed the chance to expand her skills into the arena of pigs.

"It's fun," Daily says, both of Bingo Pig and Gay Bingo nights.

"The work we do at Lifelong AIDS Alliance is serious. It's life and death." Adding humor, whether it's painting a pig or dressing up in costume for Gay Bingo night, balances out the seriousness of the work, she says.

Daily sees parallels between Lifelong's mission and the work of the Market Foundation, the organization behind Pigs on Parade that raises money for Pike Place Market's human service agencies. Like Lifelong, these agencies serve our city's most vulnerable: the poor, the elderly and the ill.

In October, Bingo Pig will have a chance to win big for the Market Foundation. All 100 pigs will be auctioned off to raise money for the Market's four human services: a food bank, a senior center, a child care and preschool, and a medical clinic.

Until then, Bingo Pig will remain on display at Westlake Park, perched on her bingo board waiting for her winning number to be called.

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