Body-painting show in Macon rescheduled for next week

It didn’t take long for a nude-body painting show scheduled at a downtown art gallery Friday night to become a delicate situation legally.

The gallery’s owner, Terrell Sandefur, canceled it Friday afternoon, saying the show “is not happening.”

But the event’s organizer said later that it was merely being postponed a week until July 31 -- but with models not quite so scantily clad.

The show, dubbed “Dark Eden,” was scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Friday at the SoChi Gallery on Second Street and feature 20 or so topless female and male models, who may or may not have been wearing shorts of some kind.

The show organizer, Daniel Montoute, said earlier this week that some of the models might be nude while they were being painted.

After a story about the show appeared in The Telegraph on Thursday, local authorities met with Montoute to explain how such a program would be illegal here.

For the price of admission -- $10 in advance and $15 at the door -- ticket holders would have had access to free alcohol.

When a Bibb County sheriff’s deputy and a state revenue agent spoke with Montoute and Sandefur to go over ground rules, the deputy told them there could not be nudity and alcohol together at a public event.

At midday Friday, Montoute said “the show is still a go as of now,” but added that “some adjustments” were in the offing.

By evening, though, Montoute was drafting a statement about the postponement, which he posted on Facebook.

The announcement said that “due to city ordinances” and an apparent alcohol-licensing lapse that the show won’t happen until next week.

“But by god it will happen,” the Facebook post said.

“Adjustments to the covering of the models will be made to satisfy the local ordinances.”

Montoute added that tickets sold already will be valid next week and that refunds would be given on request.

“I give my most sincere,” he wrote, “heartfelt apologies to any inconvenience this may cause.”

Earlier this week, Montoute said those who attended would “get to watch the full creative process from start to finish” as about 10 mostly local artists applied paint to the models.

Sandefur said he was in California when the show was booked months ago and wasn’t aware until recently exactly what it involved.

“I knew it was body art,” he said. “I didn’t know it was nudity.”

As structured, some of those involved in the show could have faced criminal charges if it had gone on as planned, Sandefur said he was told.

Staff writer Joe Kovac Jr. contributed to this report. To contact writer Oby Brown, call 744-4396 or find him on Twitter@obybrownGA.