Tom and Joanie Atkinson’s home is in a quiet, gated neighborhood in midtown. Their backyard view is like many others, with trees, patio, manicured lawn — and a sculpture of a pig just beyond their fence.
The sculpture is by Sandy Scott, a critically acclaimed artist who was raised in Tulsa. The 5-foot-tall sculpture sits in the middle of a 3-acre lot owned by the Atkinsons. Several years ago, they began to quietly buy four houses that sat behind their home’s gated property. The rundown properties were leveled to create what became a quiet neighborhood park at the corner of East 32nd Street and South Birmingham Avenue. "It was a labor of love," Tom says.
"When I bought my home, it was behind a gate, and we didn’t see many people," he adds. The couple can now watch as others use the space. Tom says the pocket park has brought life to the quiet midtown neighborhood. Residents walk their dogs; children play. But the star of the park is the pig.
"I love that children and adults will sit there, pet it and just admire it," he says.
The Atkinsons maintain the property and have planted seasonal flowers and bulbs to adorn the space. Depending on the holiday, the pig is decorated by neighborhood admirers. A recent Valentine’s Day welcomed a wreath of hearts around the sculpture, laid there by an anonymous neighbor, Tom says.
The Atkinsons came to own the 2,000-pound-sculpture after their friends and avid art collectors Renee and Kevin Webb moved from Tulsa to California. Kevin knew Tom had always liked the pig sculpture, so he gifted it to the couple.
They then gifted it to others.