Saturday, April 21, 2018
Features and More

Nude art show honors body beautiful in the buff

Now in its fourth year in Tampa, Nude Nite is returning to its Ybor City roots.

The nude art show will take place in an old broom factory on the gritty fringes of east Ybor. Organizer Kelly Stevens calls the Fourth Avenue warehouse "delightfully industrial'' and well-suited for showcasing edgy art and live performances that honor the body bare.

"It's an slice of old Florida. It hasn't been touched in 20 years,'' she said. "I hope people will enjoy that aspect of it.''

This year's theme is antique carnival, inspired by Steven's summer trip to the world renowned Venice Biennale contemporary art show in Italy. She modeled the look and feel after 1920s-era circuses in Brazil, New Orleans and Paris.

The three-day show, which opened Thursday, features more than 200 works by 160 local and national artists. Provocatively painted models, peek-a-boo ladies in feather boas, stilt walkers and other circus-inspired characters stroll the bazaar-style gallery. Burlesque dancers perform at 9, 10 and 11 p.m. daily. A spin-the-bottle game and House of Mirrors add to the slightly naughty, adults-only attractions.

Much of the art was created specifically for Nude Nite, which limits artists to a few works apiece. Some of the art will take form during the show, including a tower of wire people figures by artist Samantha Churchill. John DeMike made huge Venetian angels to float from the ceiling.

Stevens started Nude Nite in Orlando in 1997 as an experience-driven art show where people could buy art and also live it. She expanded to Tampa to increase opportunities for local artists whose nude work is often misunderstood or under-appreciated.

Tampa's first Nude Nite was held in 2009 in an Ybor City warehouse. It moved to the old Trolley Barn in Tampa Heights for the next two years but, when that property fell into bankruptcy, Stevens started scouting for a new venue.

Stevens likes the idea of hosting the show in an industrial, off-the-beaten-path location near Ybor. It tends to draw more diverse, raw art than the younger, polished city of Orlando and exposes people to an area of town they might not know otherwise. To make the area more inviting and accessible, the city improved the lighting and repaired potholes, she said.

"The art in Tampa is industrial, edgy and honest and reflects all kinds of lifestyles and interests,'' she said.

Anyone who purchases a piece receives free, lifetime admission to Nude Nite. After a few years of sluggish sales, last month's show in Orlando drew a bounty of buyers.

Comments
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18
In Bhutan, gross national happiness more important than GDP

In Bhutan, gross national happiness more important than GDP

Associated PressLAYA, BhutanPrayer flags whip in the wind, flying across steep valleys and roads. Buddhist temples, stupa shrines and majestic fortresses called zhongs dot the landscape. Giant water-powered prayer wheels spin from tumbling falls. Far...
Published: 04/20/18
The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Florida Orchestra puts another exclamation point on its 50th season with Verdi’s Requiem, this weekend’s concert series, a major presentation of an iconic work. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Requiem debuted in 1874 but took on a new layer of signif...
Updated: 6 hours ago
On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

ORLANDO — When Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened 20 years ago, it was light on thrills and heavy on conservation. On April 22, 1998, Earth Day, the Orlando park had a single thrill ride, Countdown to Extinction, and a handful of shows like ...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
On 4/20, a Tampa distillery is releasing hemp-infused Touch Vodka

On 4/20, a Tampa distillery is releasing hemp-infused Touch Vodka

TAMPA — Appropriately enough, a local distillery is releasing a hemp vodka on Friday, 4/20.After more than a year of planning and research, Fat Dog Spirits — the parent company of Touch Vodka — is releasing its new Nirvana vodka.Served in 750-millile...
Published: 04/19/18
Graze all day at Armature Works

Graze all day at Armature Works

TAMPA HEIGHTS— Graze 1910 upholds the comfortable and relaxing, yet elegant setting of Armature Works with its "comfort food" offerings and dedication to serving breakfast all day."It’s the way I eat. I graze all day," said owner Raymond "Ray" Menend...
Published: 04/19/18
Tampa Bay disciples of 'Wild Wild Country' guru remember Oregon commune

Tampa Bay disciples of 'Wild Wild Country' guru remember Oregon commune

SPRING HILL Joe Lemieux sat on the cream sofa near several relics from another era in his life, out of place in this retiree’s pastel-tinged living room and brought into the morning light specifically for this occasion. There was a beaded nec...
Published: 04/19/18
Persall: Upon retirement, a look back at a star-quality career

Persall: Upon retirement, a look back at a star-quality career

Do you see what I did there? The comma and extra "E" in my byline? One last pun, just for fun. It’s the end, fin in French, and something unfortunately ruder in Swedish. Time to retire, nearly 25 years to the day after starting work as the T...
Published: 04/19/18
Freefall flavors 2018-2019 season with comedies and a pair of musicals

Freefall flavors 2018-2019 season with comedies and a pair of musicals

ST. PETERSBURG — In the coming season, Freefall Theatre is rolling out a world premiere, a different take on Christmas, a sharp comedy and a recent work by Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage. The theme for the 2018-2019 season, "A Brighter Tomorrow," color...
Published: 04/19/18
Bar review: London Heights British Pub in Tampa

Bar review: London Heights British Pub in Tampa

As a person who has no intention of ever going into the bar business, I spend a good amount of time thinking about what makes bar concepts work. I think about themes, branding, menus, location and myriad other factors that ultimately play into a bar’...
Published: 04/19/18