Slap-n-Tickle’s sexy First Friday festivities

Samuel Towns

A woman’s body has long stood out as a timeless subject matter for the visual arts. Each curve begs to be followed. They twist and navigate a scenic journey that begins at the face, floats down a fleshy landscape and concludes with perfect toes evenly distributed between perfect feet; a perfect creature.

On the first Friday of February, the art gallery Slap-n-Tickle in the Crossroads Art District held the 4th Annual Erotica Art Show.

The owner and operator of the Slap-n-Tickle, Apryl D. McAnerney, had a number of her own works on display. Her line drawings are striking representations of female forms brought to the cusp of abstraction by her stunning pencil techniques.

McAnerney’s artist statement states her primary subject matter is women. Her hand-drawn portrayals provide a commentary on the modern woman: who she is, how she is and how she fits into society.

Her primary medium is pencil. She states the simplicity and immediacy of pencil and paper allows for a more organic, flowing process and that the lines “grow like vines.”

Other works that were up included photographs of genitalia passed through Photoshop filters and a handful of explicit paintings of unabashed male and female sensual nudes.

Much of the work strived for the same kind of raunchiness one might find in a Robert Crumb painting but fell short of achieving the same poignancy. All of the artists’ works did, however, show great potential for growth.

Also featured at the Slap-n-Tickle that night was the stunning body painting art of Betty Bloom which just keeps getting better and better. The scantily clad models were her canvases. Their painted bodies strutted sultrily around the small venue all night, shaking their tail-feathers and having an all around good time chatting it up with folks and admiring the art work.

Those in attendance were all of good cheer too, that fact is perhaps attributable to the half-naked painted women about.

A wide age-range could be found in the gallery, too. Though it was mostly 20-some-things holding Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) cans, an older crowd also showed up. It’s always gratifying to see how an art show can transcend the age barrier like that. After all, art really is universal.

Every work strikes an audience differently, but it’s that diversity that makes art such a dynamic and interesting thing. It’s for everyone, and it exists to be interpreted by the young and old alike.

The Slap-n-Tickle, which is located at 504 E. 18th St., always has something to bring to the First Friday table. With a winning combination of live music and art, McAnerney really keeps the Crossroads crowd on their feet. It has received critical acclaim in a number of Pitch articles and has rooted itself firmly into the Kansas City art scene.

You can learn more about the Slap-n-Tickle and McAnerney at her website,

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