This year Nude Nite was in a large warehouse South of Downtown, (SODO). Terry and I arrived in separate vehicles. I parked in front of a cement factory. Terry got to the event before me and greeted me at the entrance. We got to the event early but it was already packed inside. The first thing we saw was this woman seated nude on a blue inflatable chairs with a red fabric covering her head and a phone outlet cord plate where her face would be. I started sketching Immediately. A sign invited people to pick up the phone. On occasion people would sit opposite the woman and hold the phone. Most people only did this long enough to have their picture taken. As one patron said, "I am presuming that's what pay-for-phone-sex sounds like. It was hard to hear, because of all the ambient noise, but I did hear enough." As the crowd grew thicker, fewer people took the seat since there would be an audience watching them for a reaction. Terry came back after wandering and looking at all the nude art. She mentioned that there was nowhere to sit in the whole place. I suggested she sit opposite the woman I was sketching but she didn't want to become part of the performance.
After the first sketch we walked around together and I got to see all the art for the first time. By now the venue was jam packed. Emotions Dancers slipped gracefully around among the crowd. Periodically one of the dancers would let out an ear piercing scream. We kept bumping into people we knew. I recognized the work of some of the artists I know. For the second sketch, I watched beautiful women get body painted with graffiti from head to toe. I noticed that no one was completely nude. women always wore panties. A more accurate title for the event might be Topless Night. Sketching the body painter, I was often bumped by photographers who were so excited to shoot a nude body that they never looked where they were going. Actually this was true all night, everyone stared and crashed into one another.
I was starving. We had been to a reception prior to Nude Nite but the food was gone by the time we arrived. Terry had some sushi provided by Sushi 101. She couldn't use the chop sticks provided so they wrapped a rubber band around them to make them easier to use. We wandered around looking for an open restaurant but nothing was open but fast food restaurants. We were almost home before we had to give up and go to Burger King.
I found out that an artist who exhibited work at Nude Nite had a painting go missing. If you see this painting anywhere around town, leave a comment on this blog. The artist is offering a reward for information leading to its return. The reward is either a print of the painting or a small original charcoal drawing of the artists choice. I had my own work disappear at a Sonesta Hotel fundraiser and work has been defaced at Pom Poms Cafe, we need to stop the madness or Orlando will become a cultural backwater.