Unequal displays of public nudity

When you bike nude around Madison, people are overjoyed to see you. They stop to smile, wave, laugh, cheer and take photos and videos. The mid-June World Naked Bike Ride, a 400-strong parade of merry pranksters, smeared with sunscreen and body paint, rang bike bells and shouted body-positive encouragement like “You’re beautiful!” to stunned and delighted bystanders. Do note that this cycle gang was 75 percent male and 98 percent white.

Madison’s political forays into public nudity are growing. The pro-body positivity, anti-oil-dependence fun cruise of Madison’s ninth edition of the World Naked Bike Ride this year presented a noticeable contrast to the experiences women in Madison have had participating in annual nipple-equality events like the upcoming Nipple Empowerment 2018-Rally For RCC. The former is not technically legal, while the latter is 100% on the books in Madison. In the gap between the two events is a lot of what we need to change about how society treats people who aren’t white men. Read more at Tone Madison.

Mural with a mission

Art-Trinity-Mural-Dedication-cLatasiaDhami-08022018In early July, Madison artist Jenie Gao scaled scaffolding to install a bright mural on the parking-lot side of Trinity Lutheran Church between Winnebago and Atwood Streets. One morning, a couple walked by and struck up a conversation. Gao explained that the nonprofit she works with, Dane Arts Mural Arts (DAMA), had helped the church community conceptualize and create the colorful four-panel mural.

“At the end of the conversation, this guy goes, “I never understood why anyone would like to cover up such a nice stucco wall, but you made a believer of me,” says Gao, lead artist on the project. “So we had a conversion on public art and murals.” Read more at Isthmus.com.