Arcata Eye Scene

A-town art, music, theatre. Mostly music. Updated Wednesdays.

Theme of the week: Censorship?

First, Eureka’s Arkley Center bumped the Vagina Monologues:

VenueTech says ‘no’ to ‘Monologues’

Arkley Center says ‘no’ to ‘Vagina Monologues’

(NCJ’s Hank Sims weighs in here.)

Then, Bon Boniere said no to some Humboldt Honeys. From the Honeys’ headquarters comes this:

Sweetest Place on Earth Goes Sour

The Humboldt Honey Calendar Show for Eureka’s November Arts Alive was censored by the management of Bon Boniere. Because the Eureka ice cream establishment took down 4 out of the 12 model photos showcased in the calendar, many of the calendar’s models were left in disbelief that they were censored.

The photographer of the project, Kyana Taillon, was told that she could hang the show in the afternoon of the Saturday event. When she came back for the evening, Taillon found 4 out of 12 of the large framed photographs taken down. Then management told her that they would not sell the calendars in their store, even though they had initially offered the service.

Pictured here in front of the Arcata Bon Boniere is Miss April, Shaye Harty, one of the models whose photo was censored. “I think it is one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever taken. For someone to say that it is inappropriate for the largest monthly art event goes against the very nature of why we make art,” she said. Her photo, taken in Fern Canyon, pictures her in a fern bikini. “Maybe I would understand their decision if I was obviously nude, but the picture is totally tasteful and artsy.”

Janette Britt is another model whose photo was taken off the wall at Bon Boniere. She was pictured on Clam Beach during a sunset and has this to say about her censorship, “I am hurt by their decision to remove my Humboldt Honey picture from their wall. As the July calendar model, I believe the photograph of me wearing a tank top and shorts on the beach was very appropriate to display in public.
Mannequins in retail stores wear far less clothing than I wore in my picture. I am unable to comprehend how Kyana’s art differs from the rest displayed during Arts Alive.”

On her choice of charity that the calendar will benefit, “I continue to feel honored to be a part of this wonderful project. I chose Morris Elementary School in McKinleyville. Obviously, I would not have chosen my former elementary school if I had felt my picture would be seen as lewd. Growing up in Humboldt County, I remember eating double-scoops of Bon Boniere’s bubble gum ice cream with my friends. As I grew older, I would savor their sorbet. I will never step foot in Bon Boniere again.”

Mabel Jimenez, is Miss December and had her photo shoot in the snow on location in Willow Creek. She stated, “While my photo was not censored, I was very disappointed that a venue as well known and appreciated as Bon Boniere would shun the opportunity to support another local effort to strengthen the good work of so many great charities in our county. The women that have worked on this project (models or not) did it for more than a photo, we are taking this opportunity to say thank you to the community that have supported us as individuals. Otherwise, do you think I would’ve sat in the snow during one of the coldest days of the year just for the fun of it???”

When told of the surprise censorship during Arts Alive, Miss October, Nicola Hunt, remarked, “I guess our pictures were so hot, they were afraid that we would melt all their ice cream!”

In order to make up for the disappointment of being censored during the Eureka November Arts Alive, Taillon is hosting a Humboldt Honey Talent Showcase for Arts Arcata this Friday, December 14th. All of the 12 months of the Calendar will be on display, including the 4 that were censored. This event starts at 6pm when Miss Gina, the makeup artist for the calendar project, will perform a set to open up for the band, The Grease. Miss May, Annie Rosen, is the lead singer and they will be slated to play at 7pm. Many of the other Humboldt Honeys will be on hand at the event to show off their respective talents. Most notably, Miss October, Nicola Hunt and Miss December, Mabel Jimenez, will be displaying their photography at the studio located at 920 Samoa Blvd. Suite 218, Arcata, CA 95521.

Before the Humboldt Honey Talent Showcase takes place at 6pm, a protest will take place in front of Bon Boniere in Arcata at 5pm. Anyone who would like to make it known to Bon Boniere that censoring art is not acceptable is encouraged to join. About the protest, Harty says, “It is important that they know their decision to censor us will affect their business. We are urging people to Boycott Bon Boniere until they issue a formal apology for their actions.”These come on the heels of the Muddy’s smackdown.

Censorship? A sign of more conservative, regressive times? Business owners afraid of offending patrons with the exposure, verbally or visually, of the female body? Or just good business sense? Thoughts?

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5 Comments»

  Bub wrote @

Much ado about nothing. A store owner doesn’t know what will hang in his story until the art arrives. Bon Boniere is an ice cream shop frequented by kids. It’s a no brainer that the store might decline to show some of the photos.

I’d like to know what transpired during the initial conversation when the photos were taken down. If the mood was hostile, I can further understand the store declining to sell the calendar. Given that they chose to make a publicity stunt out of this, I have to side with the ice cream shop.

  Mabel Jimenez wrote @

Thanks for writing about this. Was this article published in print or just online?

Thank you

  Jennifer Savage wrote @

The above are from press releases, but I followed up in the paper with a story on each controversy.

  Jennifer Savage wrote @

This is the Vaginas vs. Venuetech story. The Honeys vs. ice cream story is here.

  john wrote @

That Jannette Photo was killer, shouldnt have been taken down. I mean it was hot and all, but wow she is nevermind.


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