On March 18, a collection of drawings and paintings of naked models will be sold at King’s College with the proceeds going to charity. It’s called the Naked Art Show, and it has been an ongoing project for several years. The project features a series of life-drawing sessions, where people from the community come to model, draw and discuss topics ranging from sexuality and body image in roundtable manner.
This year, fourth-year King’s students Julie Sadler and Jaime Wertman organized the show. They took charge of conducting two-hour drawing sessions that took place twice a week: on Mondays for beginner artist to do drawings and longer sessions on Wednesdays for experienced artists to do more detailed paintings.
“I love how everyone involved benefits,” said Werman. “The models gain a new confidence and appreciation for their body. The artists get experience life drawing with free materials. The people who attend the show can buy art or just view it.”
About 25 models participated this year. Two models would participate in each session, where each model alternated posing for an hour. Some models liked to stay for the whole time and draw when not posing.
One of the models, Lyndsay Schock, used to participate in the Naked Art project as an artist by just drawing lines. This year was her first as a model.
“It was a pretty good experience,” she said. “It’s a really nurturing environment. Everybody is really here to do art and not to see naked people. I had a lot of fun.”
One aim of the project is to try to foster a welcoming environment for both the models and the artists. The project tries to provide a low-pressure environment. There are no deadlines and all the materials are provided during the drawing sessions. At the end of the session all the drawings are all collected and if participants are not happy with what they have produced, they are given the opportunity for their art to be destroyed.
“Most importantly: all of these people are supporting a great cause, highly related to the healthy body image they all so obviously care about,” said Werman.
Julie Sadler, the other project organizer, says that they’ve been aggressively promoting the project. They try to include beginner artists who are really committed because life-drawing sessions are very expensive, so it becomes a learning experience to try out something new.
“It is a testament for the project and the community that has managed to remain so generous in spirit,” said Sadler.
The funds collected from the sold art pieces were usually donated to the Eating Disorder Action Group. Unfortunately, two weeks ago the organization closed, shocking and saddening the project members. Trying to move on and keep the project alive, they are now in the process of finding a new charity to benefit from the project and its message.