Vankleek Hill has a long history with naked people. Especially in our art.
For the past five years, the Arbor Gallery has exhibited an annual Valentine’s Day show specifically featuring erotic art in something we like to call ‘The Eros Show‘.
In 2011, for example, we featured three paintings from Edwina Billyk, called “Seated nude male,” “Homo erectus et ludens,” and “Homo erectus”. All three featured realistic nude male figures, on blue backgrounds, lounging around… lets say, very comfortably.
Galleries in Vankleek Hill, including ours, have never shied away from exhibiting nudes, especially during the early years of our famous annual Vankleek Hill May Art Festival. From 1982 until (roughly) 1992, Vankleek Hill’s galleries had many erotic aspects to their shows, including Donald Liardi’s nude sculptures, and Susan Jephcott’s paintings… all of which either involve nudity, or make you feel like you should be naked. John Greewald’s paintings are another example of how accepting gallery visitors have been to exhibiting nudity in our local galleries.
Basically, what I’m trying to say, is there have been no uprisings. I can’t even remember a letter to the editor ever having been written — or, at least, published — regarding anyone’s morals being offended by any art featuring totally exposed, or engorged… pieces.
…of course, maybe the people who might complain just don’t bother showing up (I prefer to think they all just moved away back in 1983 when it became evident our artistic community wasn’t going to stop with the naked stuff).
But this year was different. This year’s Eros Show featured nudes by Erica Taylor — including her ‘Silver Streak Penis Car‘ sculpture, as well as John Greenwald’s work, and Susan Jephcott’s paintings shown openly on our walls. But the photography of newcomer, Roy Whidden, caused Jessica Sarrazin, the Arbor Gallery’s Artistic Director, to rethink some of our policies.