The city of Seattle is surrounded by water on all sides, and the topography forms a natural hourglass figure that in the autumn, winter, and spring months is perpetually moist from rain. The lush green landscape creates a feeling of love for and enjoyment of the natural world. Winter cloud cover forms a natural blanket over the city, during the time of year when being warm under the sheets feels so good. While Seattle is becoming known for tech companies, coffee, grunge, and now football, it was also developing an underground arts scene, and putting on various literary, music, arts, crafts and food festivals, and yes, even a world class erotic art festival, now celebrating its 13th year.
Why is Seattle so sexy? Over the years, Hollywood has portrayed Seattle as a place for sleepless singles in search of each other, grunge music singles in search of fun 20-something love, and recently, in “50 Shades of Grey,” as just the type of town where an attractive kinky billionaire can find just the right young woman to fit his own brand of kink. Sex happens everywhere, but everyone’s got their own quirks about what it is, how’s it’s done, and what they like. In Seattle, there’s a sexual evolution/revolution brewing, along with the coffee.
Since it launched in 2003, the Seattle Erotic Art Festival had a mission to showcase stunning erotic art, to spark conversations and ignite personal and cultural evolutions. The founders of the festival wanted to create a place to celebrate, discuss and support pieces that were rarely seen in mainstream galleries and museums. They dreamed of sexy people in a lush environment devouring amazing art, and created an event that encouraged people to express their inner sensual and sexual natures.
Sophie Iannicelli, the director of Seattle Erotic Art Festival says, “Viewing erotic art is a form of activism. When you look at any piece of art and see the beauty of artistic merit within, you are creating a more sex positive world. By not limiting your appreciation to your own preferences, you transcend tolerance and accept the myriad way eros manifests in others.”
The 3-day festival is happening at the Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall over April 23-25, 2015. The stunning diversity of what erotic art is will be well represented. Artists submit work from all over the world, but the majority of artists live in the Pacific Northwest. More than a gallery show, the festival includes performances on stage and off, films, readings of erotica, and interactive elements. A key part of the show involves people-watching at its finest. Springtime plumage is encouraged. The clothes, costumes, and attitudes are all on full display.
The festival’s press relations director, Rags Madison says, “Sexuality and spirituality are interconnected languages of the human experience, and sex is so varied in its manifestations. Being open and vulnerable is what sex best brings out in people. In a world of collapsing trust, shrinking collaboration, and scarcity anxieties in the lives of everyday people, sharing our best selves might seem foolish, but to expand the better side of human nature it is precisely our best selves we need to share, even though it’s often the hardest thing to give.”
Seattle is the home to a vibrant mix of people, ideas, cultures, and aspirations. When it puts on this year’s erotic arts festival it will transform Seattle’s iconic Seattle Center (home of The Space Needle, and the 1962 World’s Fair), into stages and rooms filled with sex positive, mind-opening depictions of erotica, created by artists deeply connected to this vital part of being human. And that’s something worth celebrating.