Smitten Kitten shares naughty and nice art and gifts at "Art Sex"

Smitten Kitten shares naughty and nice art and gifts at "Art Sex"

There's a lot to be said for how art brings out a myriad of human emotions. However, the way in which art can address our most primal, very necessary, physical urge is rarely discussed or explored. Luckily, folks will be able to do just that when Smitten Kitten, Minneapolis's own woman-run, sex-positive adult toy store, hosts its third annual "Art Sex" community art fair.

Staff member Alicia Steele took some time to answer some questions via email about the exhibit, which artists she's excited about, and the link between sex and art.

How does art capture sex differently than say writing, or discussion?

The world tries to define what sex should be and look like: usually a man, a woman, some thrusting, and you're done. Yawn. How we enjoy consensual sex is different for everyone, whether solo or with friends. Art has limitless boundaries defined by the artist, so the marriage of the two allows for sex to be whatever we want--which is exactly what it should be.

Whose idea was it for the event?

The show was originally the baby of an old staff member, Lacey. She did an amazing job and people kept asking about it, so we've continued the show ever since. It started out being about homemade crafts, but now we are getting crafts and fine art work. Every year more and more people submit, it's getting hard to fit everything!

What have been some of the more popular pieces submitted to the show?

Marc Debauch is a visual artist inspired by masculine men immersed in sexual fantasy. His work is beautiful and often times satirical. There's always a crowd around his work when I've seen pieces at other events.

Dustin Skarda, a local woodworker/cabinet maker, made some amazingly shaped toys -- very ergonomic. I feel like people will really like his toys, which are lightweight and always room temperature in this cold weather.

Smitten Kitten shares naughty and nice art and gifts at "Art Sex"

Oh, and Lucas Richards! His screen-printed Make Love submission is one of my favorites! When you come to the show, stop and take time looking at this one. There are a lot of hidden secrets in his piece.

Some other standout entries are cashmere cuffs and masks by Swoon -- they are luxurious -- and the Squidildo, a squid-shaped dildo, by Freerange Silicone.

How do you choose which pieces get accepted?

We really try to fit as much in as possible. We don't want to be gatekeepers, we want to celebrate our local artist community. We had an official committee of three people who looked at originality, sex-positivity, and artist biographies to make a decision. There was tons of visual art submitted this year -- more than ever -- so it was pretty competitive. Mainly we want the show to present a variety of expressions on sex.   

Smitten Kitten shares naughty and nice art and gifts at "Art Sex"
Photography by Lars Kommienezuspadt

What do you do with all of the toys and products you must "de-shelve" for the exhibit?

They take a vacation next to our shipping desk where its warm and relaxing, giving them time to recoup from being handled all year long.

"Art Sex: An Annual Local Art Fair Party"
Opening reception
8 to 10 p.m. Thursday, December 8
Smitten Kitten
3010 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
Call 612.721.6088 or v
isit for more info
Exhibit runs through January 5

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