The 200 pieces of fine art photographs, sculptures, and paintings are just a part of Nude Nite Orlando. “It’s made of painters, performers, acrobats, …” explains Director Kelly Stevens. “It’s about visual extravaganza. A feast if you will.”
Nude Nite is as much a happening as it is an art show. Thousands of people attended the show during its three night run. And if you came late you’d end up standing in line. The attraction is for the performances as much as the art. There are burlesque shows, acrobats performing on stage and on a large hoop suspended from the ceiling. Roving models, live body painting demonstrations, and performance artists moving through the crowds.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their cameras as long as they are respectful and understand the limits of what can be done with their photographs. “If you think about the event from a photography standpoint it probably has two dozen of the most incredible visuals that I’d like photograph,” continues Stevens. “It’s a very inspiring event. Full of color and texture, which is what I think photographers really like.”
The tag line, “Take a nude home tonight” is meant to encourage attendees to purchase art. And when they do, they receive free tickets to Nude Nite for life.
You never know what to expect the first time you attend a new event in a new city. So Friday night when I left my hotel and headed over to the Lexington Art League’s(LAL) opening night for their 25th anniversary “Nude 2011” show, I tried to temper my expectations. I had read that is was one of North Americas largest nude art shows, but I wondered just how much support for nude fine art could exist in Lexington, Kentucky. So when I starting diving next to a beautiful park and first laid my eyes on the Loudon House, LAL’s home, I had to check the address a third time.
The Loudon House is an amazing historic building. And then I tried looking for a parking spot only to find everything full and was forced to create a space on the snow covered lawn. I walked into a beautiful gallery full of people listening to live music while enjoying good food and cocktails.
And the Art? It was very impressive. Fifty pieces ranging from photography to sculpture including paintings, video, 3d mixed media, and drawings. Each unique in style and approach to the nude. I could not wait to ask Becky Alley, LAL’s Exhibitions and Programs Director, why they chose this theme.
“I think the nude or the body is relevant to contemporary artists because we all have one,” explained Alley. “Whenever you’re making art you’re hoping it’s communicating something to an audience. It’s a language. (And with this language) you can start talking about the human experience by using the body as imagery or form.”
Nude 2011’s jurors are from the same region yet have different backgrounds. “It was good to have people from the same area so they could get together face to face and talk, which they did a couple of times,” says Alley. “I like the idea of having either jurors or artists in different mediums so they bring kind of different perspectives. Or having a visual artist and a curator.” Karen Gillenwater is Curator at the Carnegie Center for Art & History in New Albany, Indiana where she plans art exhibitions and programs. She was formerly Director of Art Galleries and Curator of Collections at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky and Curatorial Administrative Coordinator at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. Mark Priest has a BA in painting from the University of Louisville and an MFA in painting from Yale University. He is currently an associate professor of painting and drawing at the University of Louisville.
My primary reason for attending Nude 2011 was because my photograph “Neophlyte” was selected as part of the show. While there I met many of the patrons and artists. Experienced some exceptional art and Lexington’s culture. This will not be the last time I attend. I highly recommend that if you are in the Lexington area during the show’s two month run that you head over to the Lexington Art League’s Loudon House and experience it for yourself.
Inspiration comes to me from many directions. Sculpture, paintings, nature, and dance to name a few. When it comes to dance, I spend a lot of time going to live performances and searching the internet for recorded ones. One day I came across a performance that not only inspired my fine art photography but also my soul.
The 2007 4th annual CCTV dance contest held in Beijing included the performance “Hand in Hand” performed by Ma Li and Zhai Xiaowei. It is a beautiful piece made extraordinary when you consider Ma lost her right arm in a car accident when she was 19 and Zhai lost his left leg when fell from a tractor at the age of 4. It is better to view the performance than to read about it.
I am very fortunate being able to spend my time pursing my passion for creating fine art nude photographs. Along the way I come across stories like this one which move me on so many different levels.
I first came across Carrie Leigh’s Nude magazine while looking through the newsstand at a Barnes & Noble. This quarterly publication showcases some of the worlds best fine art nude photographers. The 96 page magazine contains photographs, articles relevant to the industry, news, and no advertising. The quality of the paper and printing is exquisite.
Publisher Carrie Leigh has extensive experience both in front of the lens as a model and behind the lens as a photographer. She started the magazine in 2007. I highly recommend checking it out.
The Art Nudes blog constantly reviews great fine art photographers. Michael Barnes started this site back 2003 and has been finding impressive photographers ever since. I stop by and checkout his discoveries on a regular basis. Another nice thing about Art Nudes is that you are not bothered by advertising.
When you stop getting paid at your job you quit working. When someone can steal your stuff and continue stealing it with no consequences, then you are not going to keep making more stuff. And when your work is stolen it’s hard to get paid for it. Everyone can understand these simple principles. Senate Bill 3804 – “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” makes it more difficult for someone to steal the work created by writers, filmmakers, and visual artists. Better protection will help the proliferation of more work.
There is little doubt that the internet has made copyright infringement very easy. People can easily copy text, music, video, and images that are the products of other people’s labor. But just because it is easy to take something does not make it legal.
People need to respect the ownership rights of the writers, musicians, filmmakers, and visual artists. One way is to have better copyright enforcement. Senate Bill 3804 helps the Attorney General protect those rights by giving him tools take action against websites that are “dedicated to infringing activities.” This will require people to think about whether or not they own the rights to what they post on their websites.
I’d like to encourage you to contact your Senators and Congressperson and ask them to support this critical law.