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Outdoor Sculpture "Stella" is No Boar

André Harvey, b. 1941
Stella (from an edition of 30), 2007, cast 2009
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Stella_loresThe Museum’s Art Trail is a wonderful outdoor venue to explore. The paved path offers spectacular views of the grounds and hosts a variety of outdoor works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection. One sculpture that has gained immediate appeal and affection from guests is the charming and lively portrayal of a pleased pig named Stella. Created by artist André Harvey, this delightful bronze sculpture elicits a cheerful sentiment and complements the pig-turesque outdoor environment.

Engaging viewers with her smart snout, Stella welcomes all to the Museum’s grounds.  Attentive in posture, the full-bodied shoat offers a friendly gaze and a smile to her admiring audience as they traverse the scenic walkway. Though full of character and personality, our “social sow” may appear to be an animated version of the barnyard breed; however, the features and scale are accurate physical traits and anatomical proportions from an actual modeled swine.  The artist works directly from personal observation, creating works of art of animals in their natural environment. Inspired by a litter of pigs from a neighboring farm, Harvey made the sty his studio and produced a series of wallowing works, Stella being our favored cast. (You can see Stella’s sister, Helen, and other works by Harvey, here.)

Produced as a work in-the-round, the happy hog is to be experienced and appreciated from all angles of view. Standing over three feet in height, two feet wide and just less than six feet in length, the pork-o-plenty weighs in at a hefty 560 pounds. A domesticated kin to the Razorback, Stella prompts several “hog calls” a day from our proud sports fanatics, and her robust form and curly tail amuse the child in all of us.  So next time you encounter our “sweet swine,” feel free to give a Brando-esque shout-out to “STELLAAAAA!”