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A 25-foot dancing hog statue now looms over Arkansas. It will light up, too

A business in Fayetteville, Arkansas installed a 25-foot dancing boar statue on Sunday as a way to give back to the community. "It's not an abstract thing that you gotta know something about art to appreciate. So everybody can enjoy it," said the artist.
A business in Fayetteville, Arkansas installed a 25-foot dancing boar statue on Sunday as a way to give back to the community. "It's not an abstract thing that you gotta know something about art to appreciate. So everybody can enjoy it," said the artist. Twitter

A new statue in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is suddenly hogging the limelight.

It's a giant dancing boar.

Hogeye - that's his name - is made of copper. He stands 25-feet-tall on his hind legs, front hooves playfully raised, his teeth exposed in mirth, his face frozen in perpetual side-eye.

He was installed on Sunday, when one local TV anchor quipped to a reporter on the scene: "Hard not to notice that statue."

In Arkansas, where Razorbacks are revered like nowhere else, the statue is said to be the state's largest hog sculpture, according to Arkansas Online.

"It's a little bit cartoony, it's a little bit fierce. It's a little bit snarly, but it's funny. So I think there is sort of a little bit of something in it for everybody," artist Eugene Sargent told KHBS in Fort Smith.

"It's not an abstract thing that you gotta know something about art to appreciate. So everybody can enjoy it and I kinda like that."

Local media have pointed out that, at 25-feet tall - 30 feet including its concrete base - the 3,500-pound pig is taller than the 19-foot marble statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Hogeye is a gift to the city from the owners of Hogeye Inc., a local business that sells magnets, key chains, lapel pins, patches and other souvenirs according to its website where it has spun a mythical backstory for the giant animal - magicians, spell books, football, etc.

Hogeye has his own souvenirs - a ball cap, T-shirt and polo shirt.

According to KFSM, the boar stands on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (Highway 62) at the city limits between Fayetteville and Farmington near the company's headquarters. It's on a grassy area on the north side of the road, designed that way so people can pull over and take pictures.

“I was originally looking to get a new sign for our business and decided it would be neat to have a unique artistic landmark instead,” Hogeye founder and co-owner Cliff Slinkard said in a statement.

“Hogeye Inc. has been a part of this community for 36 years, and we want to give something back to this area. This is a fun way to do that.”

The statue is a replica of the company's original logo designed in 1982. Company co-founder Niki Slinkard told Arkansas Online she didn't know how much the statue cost.

"We were so into it we just stopped keeping up with the costs," she said. “This is an art-loving community, and we hope people will put the sculpture on their list of things to see in Northwest Arkansas. It definitely has a 'wow' factor.”

The statue has been 10 years in the planning and took Sargent five months to build, according to KHBS. And even though it sits in the hometown of the University of Arkansas, it wasn't designed as a Razorback, the artist said.

Tell that to the numerous sports outlets that are going hog wild over it.

"It's meant to be sort of primitive, like from the 1500s, a little it, but also combining that with Arkansas, Ozarks, you know." Sargent told KHBS.

The hog isn't finished yet. Sargent has yet to install the lights that will illuminate the giant hog in the night.

"He is located on Martin Luther King, which is practically a traffic jam every morning and evening with commuters," Sargent told KFSM, "so I like the fact that he is cheering on the workers. I like to think of him as a working class hog."

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