Tahlequah Daily Press

January 28, 2014

Looking for Cupid - Popular Erotic Art Show is again set for Feb. 14

Special Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Like a curly-headed, smiling cupid, partially nude and sporting his bow and arrow, the works on display at the annual Erotic Art Show represent the day of love.

Mostly the art is sensual, tasteful and personal, depicting what love means to each individual artist.

The only “drop-in” art show in the county, the annual event is open to any artist on a first-come, first-served basis. Artists are invited to set up on the second floor of the Iguana Cafée, Friday Feb. 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. There is no registration or fee, and each artist is responsible for his or her own display and sales.

The show is open to the public, ages 18 and older. It’s a favorite of local artists, because they enjoy seeing what new works their peers bring, and hanging out together for the evening. They also like talking with the public about their art.

Burt Russell, one of the founders of the event, said they used to go to Fayetteville to an erotic art show at a gallery there until it closed. Then, they started one here in the early ‘80s.

“Tom Baker, and Cedar Carrier, who’s no longer with us, were two of the first artists, and Kelly Anquoe has participated for years,” Russell said.

It’s open to all artists, and it’s not juried.

“So you can expect everything good, bad and in between, all skill levels,” he said. “It’s not pornographic; it’s sensual.”

There is no entrance fee for the public, and during the show, no one under 18 is allowed upstairs at the Iguana, said Baker. It’s one night only, and there will be live music, and art for sale.

“It’s the longest-running erotic art show in Cherokee County,” Baker said. “Our interest is in love and not lust.”

Last year, Jim Roaix sold a drawing of a little boy in front of a heart, holding his arms outspread and saying, “Mommy, I love you this much!”

He also sold a piece with a cardboard door and knob on it that said, “Don’t open,” with a frog in a bikini painting underneath.

“Everybody had to lift it and look,” Roaix said. “It was fun to see everyone’s reactions.”

The displays will include things like that, as well as nude works, but no pornography, Roaix said.

“This show is so much fun. You meet new artists and all kinds of people; lovers of art come,” he said. “Some because they’re curious about what an Erotic Art Show is, and others to buy art. I’ve bought some art, too. Most artists collect, so we buy from each other.”

This year, he’s bringing some drawings, a sculpture of a female form, and a zombie with a “do not lift” sign.

“The oldest carving they’re ever found is a pregnant woman, called Venus, but it looks nothing like Venus de Milo,” said Roaix.

Artist Amy Leeper always as a great time at the show.

“I enjoy the camaraderie,” she said. “You’re able to talk to the artist and find out what the piece means to them. I did a painting in yellow and purple from Life Drawing sketches I’m bringing.”

Life Drawing is a workshop open to artists who each donate a small fee to paint a live model. It’s held at the Cherokee Art Center, on certain Fridays.

“Using live models is something artists have done for many, many years. It’s a tradition,” said Gerald Peterson. “If you can draw the human body so it’s recognizable, it’s an accomplishment. We all know what the human body looks like. It’s beautiful.”

For information on the show, call Tom Baker at (918) 453-0900.