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Lyndon Street’s Eros comes again for year 7

by Christian Bryant

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Erik and Charlotte Str’m delve into the world of erotica in this year’s Eros: An Erotic Art Show at Lyndon Street Artworks Saturday night. (photo by Christian Bryant)

Lyndon Street Artworks looks like a huge chicken coop.

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Rusted metal beams align across the ceiling like a spinal cord. Reddish roof tin walls with a corrugated design divide the studios where artists work to produce their prized golden eggs.

The studio doors are large chain-linked gates big enough to hold back Cerberus that open wide enough to reach the opposite end. Christmas lights, stickers, encouraging quotes, price tags and Baphometic deer horns garnish the doorframes to the separate studios. If not for the art, this place would be just a large chicken coop.

Upon entering, I count 18 breasts, 18 immaculately spherical orbs of wonder in plain sight. Each visible breast, softly drawn and lightly punctuated by a proportionate areola and nipple, is iris and pupil to observers making direct eye contact. Most are perched on frames with long, wild locks that cascade over slender shoulders. The woman that greets me is a nude Renaissance figure, laying on what appears to be a suede couch, limbs wilted in all directions and beckoning for consummation.

It is no surprise that this is the stage for the 7th annual Eros: An Erotic Art Show, a production that has stretched the limits of artistic presentation and helped expand the Lyndon Street Artworks community — quite an accomplishment considering that the producers declare the creation of the show wasn’t intentional.

“We stumbled into it,” says Erik Str’m, artist and co-producer of Eros. “[In the beginning,] it was just a bunch of artists pow-wowing.”

Str’m, his wife Charlotte and their business partner, Andrew Comstock, are the creative minds behind Eros and talented artists in their own right.

A step toward the back of the facility reveals a junkyard of surplus materials and half-finished creations. Leaning against a wall is a woman made of an indecipherable metal that looks trapped. She is a nude bronze figure in a crucifixial position, protruding from a circular wooden board that conjures nuances of Han Solo near the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

“We wanted to do something that wasn’t your average, run-of-themill Valentine’s Day show,” remarks Str’m. “We wanted to challenge thoughts.”

Hundreds of submissions from more than 40 artists range from photography, to sculptures to jewelry and teeter the line of eroticism, falling into categories that are either tame or unfiltered.

Past shows have featured Comstock as DJ and lighting expert, burlesque performer Madelyn “Foxy Moxy” Greco and her body-painting husband Scott Fray. Moxy and Fray, who have won international awards for their work, have performed for Eros and added their cult following to the annual attendees.

Guests can also expect a performance from Torque, a Triad-based tribal-fusion bellydancing troupe.

“[Eros] has become its own animal,” says Charlotte. “At some point, you let it go and it does its own thing.”

Even though Eros adds new draws each year, the producers still remark that the communal nature of the event is one thing that keeps guests returning. This is evident just within the community of Lyndon Street residents.

Glass artist James Nickerson with Rewined Recycled Glassware is on hand. As another creator is sawing and violently attacking mannequin limbs to shape a reworked piece of art, Nickerson is demonstrating his process of creative manufacturing using empty wine bottles. He places a bottle into a tarnished glass lathe and begins applying the restrictions to keep the bottle in place. He rotates the unaltered wine bottle using a small crank and details the process of thermal shock using a torch to shape a small drinking glass.

Between sentences, Charlotte lightly interjects. She gives a suggestion here and there and Nickerson nods. He returns the favor and provides imagery for another idea and Charlotte’s eyes light up. The two speak with their hands, finish each others’ sentences and seem to connect on a wavelength undetected by the untrained eye.

“Ideas are free,” says Nickerson.

wanna go?

7th annual Eros: An Erotic Art Show; Saturday; Lyndon Street Artworks, 205 Lyndon St., Greensboro; $5. All guests must be 18 years of age or older. For more information, call 336.340.8543.

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