Every year, Kelly Stevens visits art shows around the world in search of inspiration for her annual “Nude Nite,” an art show that celebrates the nude body.
This year, she found it in a 2013 Justin Timberlake song called “Mirrors.”
“(Mirrors) are a reflection of what we see in ourselves and what we want to see in ourselves, “ says Stevens, creator and director of Nude Nite Tampa. “It’s a very relevant message today, particularly with social media and selfies; it’s so bold and in your face. We want to be stars, we want to be beautiful and we want to judge other people.”
Nude Nite 2014, with the theme “Mirror, Mirror — The Other Side of Me,” takes place Thursday through March 8 at a Tampa warehouse.
Along with the more than 200 nude paintings, photographs and sculptures on sale celebrating the human anatomy in all its shapes, colors and sizes, the event will feature interactive artworks inspired by social media and selfies (pictures taken of oneself while holding the camera).
Guests will be able to enter one of four giant “Selfie Frames” and snap pictures of themselves while deciphering an encrypted message; they can communicate with a performer inside a “Human Thought Bubble,” explore their psyche by interpreting human ink blots and admire silhouettes projected in front of a “Shadow Play” screen.
Contortionists, aerialists, stilt walkers and burlesque dancers will perform, as well as strolling characters. And famed body painter Heather Aguilera, star of SYFY Channel’s “Naked Vegas,” will demonstrate her skills, along with Dan Diaz, the 10-foot-tall Mirror Man. There also will be food and drinks available for purchase.
Stevens, a 42-year-old mother of three, created “Nude Nite” in Orlando in 1996 to give artists and visitors a unique and tasteful nude art show experience.
The event was a success. In 2009, she launched the first “Nude Nite” in Tampa. Each year, the event attracts more visitors and artist participation.
This year, Stevens moved the Tampa event to a different venue, a 20,000-square-foot warehouse, with more parking to accommodate crowds.
“This show is a show for the masses,” adds Stevens. “It has a mystique to it, and because of that it grows. The nude aspect sometimes scares people, and they’ll come with a friend or to see an artists they know and all of a sudden they are hooked because there’s nothing else like it.”