Naked art class explanation… Who cares about being nude during a naked art class? My response will differ from others. Nudity during art classes is often portrayed as erotic. It’s not my purpose to discuss the reasons for this or the impact it may not have on you.
I was at the University of London for three years and during that time I saw firsthand how impressions of societal pressures can impact art practice. I watched a young female student in the studio crying while she attempted to paint the Virgin Mary. After several attempts she was unable to complete a painting of the Virgin, so she cried more in shame. I don’t know if her emotional state would have changed had she been fully aware of the impact her actions would have.
Another example involves an instructor at a fine art school. While discussing his career choices with a fellow instructor, he told her that one of the most difficult aspects of being an artist was coming to terms with nudity. In the United States, it’s a cultural norm not to be naked in public. This instructor’s own career choices confirmed my own beliefs about being nude in the classroom. He admitted that he struggled with this issue throughout his artistic career.
Some students are nudists. Others are not. Regardless of personal beliefs, it is important to respect others’ choices about being nude in a classroom. If you don’t, it can negatively impact your performance, art sales, and overall enjoyment of learning. My point here isn’t that nudists should be denied access to art classes, but that those seeking access shouldn’t do so in a way that negatively impacts others.
The other thing I’d like to share is how this experience has changed my views of the work I do and the impact it has had on me as an artist. As an Artist, I always viewed the nude art I produced as performance. The reality of this is that some of my work may have been received more positively in the past if I hadn’t held the view that being nude in a classroom would negatively impact my art. And it did.
I also realized that my students were very lucky because they could learn to embrace their nudity without feeling self-conscious. It allowed them to participate comfortably in a class without feeling self-conscious. Some of my students couldn’t afford the option to take a class without being nude.
This experience has led me to believe that being nude in a classroom builds confidence and self-acceptance in all of my students. It allows them to draw freely and to create personal connections with others. While some students may choose to express themselves in other ways, such as writing, drawing, collages, or ceramics, there is no reason why they cannot draw and create in this natural, un-moderated process. Nudity also allows them to bring sexuality into their art. This is very helpful to those who are bi-curious and wish to explore their sexuality through their art. By teaching them to embrace their nudity instead of suppressing it, I hope to give them a better sense of themselves and a deeper understanding of sexuality.
As an art teacher, I know that I can teach better if I see myself as an artist first. In this way, I am able to connect with my students on a deeper level. I feel more connected to them and am able to make them more comfortable. It’s important that everyone feels supported in the classroom. If you’re struggling with your performance or presentation, consider giving it a try, and soon you’ll be able to feel confident enough to be nude in your classes.