(Pictured above: Schwarwalkd/Black Forest by Anna Peach and Fishskin Merkin by Erica Rasmussen)
According to the press release I received from the Textile Center, merkins are wigs worn over your lady bits. No, really. Oxford English Dictionary states that merkins are "an artificial covering of hair for the female pubic region; a pubic wig for women." Wow. Who knew such things existed? Apparently hundreds of years ago merkins were much more common, and were frequently used to cover up the telltale signs of STDs amongst the prostitute community, as well as to prevent the spread of lice.
It is the merkin that inspired the Textile Center's current exhibit, "Intimate Apparel."
Opening Saturday, September 19, show will feature 22 different fiber artists' interpretation on the obscure undergarment. Many pieces are humorous, including the sponge-like merkin dubbed Black Forest by Anna Peach, as well as political. If anything, the exhibit won't be dull. The show goes through October 24.
Those looking for a sneak-peak should attend the Hot Art Cool Jazz benefit tonight, where guests can take a first look at the show. Jazz and merkins might not go together like peanut butter and jelly, but either way it should be a good time. In addition to art, the event will feature a runway show where more modern intimate apparel will be on display. There will also be live jazz from local favorites Dan Chouinard and Debbie Duncan.
Hot Art Cool Jazz begins at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Friday, September 18 at the Textile Center (3000 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis). There is a minimum $50 suggested donation. Call 612.436.0464 to RSVP.