What happens when you have ample free time and need to distract yourself from uncontrollable life events? Well, you create an art gallery for your pet (naturally). I was inspired by the gerbil art museum created by Filippo and Marianna. I’ve seen just one screenshot of the museum posted on Imgur and was immediately motivated to create some art for my own furry rodent friend. I needed a project I could channel all of my energy into. My boyfriend is in the hospital due to a non-COVID-19-related medical emergency. I can’t visit him and needed to keep busy.
And so I got to work. I’ve recreated some famous works of art, replacing the people with guinea pigs. I drew from my knowledge of art history and previous museum visit experiences. When I was setting up the museum, I kept thinking about the Met in New York City. The creaky hardwood floors and tall ceilings. Heavy gold frames. That’s what I tried to emulate as I created the Piggenheim.
You be the judge. Take a tour of the exhibition below!
The Piggenheim Museum
Once the gallery was set up, it was ready for visitors. More specifically, one very special visitor. Maisie, a 2-year-old guinea pig, was adopted from the Franklin Township Animal Shelter in New Jersey in September of 2018. I volunteer at the shelter regularly. I actually adopted Maisie to be my class pet at school! My students loved her. For various reasons, she stayed at home this school year. Maisie is a really sweet pig with a great personality. She’s very tolerant, which I attribute to her spending most of her formative months in a classroom full of 19 rambunctious 6-year-olds.
Maisie did not carrot all for this deception.
There was much chittering at the Picasso
Maisie certainly appreciated the exhibit. She spent time at each miniature work of art. Maisie nibbled on the frame of the Kahlo. I’m not sure if that was her saying she liked it or hated it. She was also very intrigued by the Lichtenstein and the Magritte. She did not seem to care for the Picasso because she chittered at it a lot!
Maisie needs a hair ribbon like that
This was after museum staff scolded her for sampling the picture frame
I took photos and video clips of Maisie gazing at the artwork. Then, I sent the clips to my best friend Emily Wolf, an influencer located in Los Angeles, who turned them into a TikTok. We are both really proud of the product created! This project really helped me get through a tough time. I would like to create another experience for Maisie, but I haven’t decided what just yet.
How we all feel internally?
Hay farmers, for sure
A trio of classic beauties!
Random trivia time! Here are some fun and not-so-fun facts about guinea pigs. Guinea pigs or domestic guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus), also known as cavy or domestic cavy, despite their common name, are not native to Guinea, nor are they related to pigs. The origin of the name eludes us still… They were originally bred as livestock, and they still are. Guinea pigs don’t exist in the wild. The guinea pig has enjoyed widespread popularity as a household and pocket pet since they arrived in Europe in the 16th century through traders. Their docile nature, friendly responses, and low-maintenance care requirements make them great conquerors of people’s hearts.
Posing with the classics
She truly appreciates fine art
No, that is not a wig, that is a guinea pig!
Pig with Hair Ribbon
Self Portrait dedicated to Dr. DooLittle
The Birth of Guinea Pig
The Treachery of Vegetables
The French is inaccurate and should read “Ceci n’est pas une carotte”
The Rodent Lisa
The Pig with the Pearl Earring
Cochon d’Inde au Béret Orange
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