The models stand topless (and nearly bottomless) in front of a room full of people, their skin the canvas for the artists of DC Creators.
Tonight’s theme is superheroes, and the models are getting decked out in strapless bustiers and thick, black chokers. If you thought Wonder Woman or Catwoman looked like their get-ups were painted on, these liquid costumes are the real deal.
The event is called Winter Soulstice, a body painting dance pARTy for models, painters and shutters, and it’s hosted by DC Creators.
The group’s founder, Davina Louise Blanchard, is the driving force behind the loose association of artists, designers, models and creative spirits of all sorts.
“People don’t know they’re artists yet,” Davina said. “But I do believe deep down, everybody’s a creator.” It’s just that not everyone has found their medium yet, she said.
This is the philosophy that Davina lives by, and it’s how she works. She gave birth to DC Creators four years ago in a tent on the side of the road. She welcomed in artists, adventurous types, curious onlookers and basically anyone who walked through the nylon flaps. She came armed with acrylics, and instructed her followers to “paint everything.”
“If they didn’t want to paint, I painted them,” she laughed.
Her all-black outfit, dyed-black hair and numerous tattoos might suggest a sullen, brooding persona, but her ever-present, million-dollar smile and welcoming attitude belie any such notions. And her down-home accent — a relic of her Memphis upbringing — doesn’t hurt either.
“I was nurtured with art supplies,” Davina says of her days in the same city that’s home to Graceland. She began creating art as soon as she could hold a crayon, and always asked for more supplies for Christmas and birthdays.
“Everyone always knew I’d be something creative,” she recalled with a big smile.
Davina came to DC for college and to look for more opportunities in graphic and web design, but after she got a job with the USDA, her plans for graduation fell by the wayside. Several of her family members live here too, and now our city is their home away from home.
DC Creators hosts parties in and around Adams Morgan about once a month. This most recent one was at Dr. Clock’s Nowhere Bar on 18th Street. The Facebook posting advertising the event reads just like Davina’s mind: “You do not have to be a professional painter. You just have to know how to use a brush. Feel free to bring a friend to paint. We welcome all to create & explore together!”
Despite the fact the event was billed as running from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., the party was just getting started around 11, when another painter and sometimes-model, Naliya Amarian, arrived with two other models. The paints and brushes were broken out and the crowd started taking an interest. A pulsing background beat provided by Mark Pieman kept the atmosphere jumping without drowning out conversation.
In between their regular instructive sessions, DC Creators appears at fun and funky events in the area. Earlier this month was at the Interfusion Festival in Alexandria and Boudoir Boheme, A Sensual Soiree. If you missed these, you can catch up with DC Creators Thursday at their next pARTy, entitled Dark Wonders, same time, same location. Coming up soon is Hearts Collective II at Lapis time, date and location to be announced. Organizers say to “Expect crazy bodies, crazy art, crazy lights, and crazy music.”
Much of the crowd at the recent Soulstice event seemed nonplussed by the semi-naked women holding still for the paintbrushes. But once onlookers got a chance to see how much fun it was, several came over to ask if they could have a turn. But of course!
Davina never says no to a blank canvas.