I gave myself plenty of time to drive to Tampa with I-4 traffic. As I got off the highway I realized I was several hours early. I passed endless warehouses until I came to the end of the road at a warehouse with a "Mad Max" styled vehicle. The owner of the vehicle does set construction for the DRIP Dance company. This was it. I decided to walk the neighborhood in search of a sketch. There were hundreds of garbage trucks parked in a lot, smelling pungent. Crows perched on the trucks probably looking for food as they laughed. I realized the ride in front of the Nude Nite warehouse was a far better sketch, so I hiked back.
The sun was getting low on the horizon as I worked. Performers began to arrive. A magician strolled by and a body painter stopped to see what I was sketching. Her model arrived in another car. When she turned to go inside, I read "Paws off" written across her short shorts with two paw prints on her buns. I saw Kelly Stevens, the event organizer got out of her car. I almost shouted "Hello!" but she had a thousand things on her mind. I felt more at home as performers arrived.
A photographer walked beside me as I made my way inside. It was his first time photographing Nude Nite and he was excited. Kelly greeted me inside and I slipped between the red velvet curtains and looked at the art with an unobstructed view. Nude Nite celebrates the human body in art. The event was multifaceted with sculpture, painting, performance art, body painting and characters walking the floor. It was the largest figurative show in America. I walked over and started another sketch.