Posted by: caflick | March 21, 2009

Body Painting in St. Lucie County: Sunnier Palms and Artful Day

The third Saturday of March falls on or near the Spring equinox and is the designated annual date for Artful Day. The brainchild of T.A. Wyner of Sunnier Palms, Artful Day is a meeting of South Florida artists and supporters who positively depict the human form through their art. img_3566reduced_modest_logoThe gatherings typically have artists painting or drawing life (figure) models, observing a body painting demonstration, learning about live body plaster castings, and participating in photography of the nude. The nude in art is the celebrated theme and plenty of past examples are on display. At the end of the day, the event culminates with a review of the created artworks during a late afternoon tea party.

Artful Day host and organizer T.A. Wyner has been a tireless activist for naturist rights, nude beach rights, and body acceptance issues since the 1980s. She is the one who made international news in 1989 through her protest and arrest at MacArthur Beach State Park (located near West Palm Beach). MacArthur Beach was original known as Air Force Beach and was owned by philanthropist and millionaire John D. MacArthur. MacArthur himself used to sunbathe without clothes on Air Force Beach and allowed 1000 – 5000 other naturists to join him in what had become the largest nude beach in the southeast United States. All of that came to an end when MacArthur died in 1981. Although his will gave Air Force Beach to the State of Florida and Palm Beach County as a park, his specific instructions that the park accommodate the traditional nude beach use was ignored by authorities. The subsequent and repeated arrests of peaceful unclad beachgoers eradicated the naturist user group from the park. To this day MacArthur Beach has yet to recover and attract a large number of visitors again.

During T.A. Wyner’s 1989 arrest, she was protesting the crackdown on naturists and was advocating for the reestablishment of Air Force Beach’s nude beach. She chose to do this by expressing her art through drawings and messages on her her unclad body. The suppression of expression and of art is expressly prohibited by the U.S. Constitution. Many years of court cases have given T.A. a number of victories and since then, there have been annual, permitted one-day nude protests at MacArthur Beach. Nonetheless, the issue of beach nudity at MacArthur remains largely unresolved. Today a small group of naturists have started re-using the northern part of the park again, although they are cautious and will briefly cover up when rangers patrol the beach.

T.A. Wyner’s victory in many court cases involving freedom of expression and the human body led to the creation of Artful Day. Held at Sunnier Palms Nudist Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Fort Pierce, Florida, Artful Day is an annual spring rite of reaffirming the normalcy of the human body and its depiction through art. Among the participating invitees are St. Lucie County Commissioners, the County Sheriff, and members of the local chamber of commerce, all of which have been educated about the goals of Artful Day and fully support the right of Sunnier Palms to exist and thrive.

Sunnier Palms is an “intentional community”, a more modern term that was originally known as a commune. The shareholders are residents who pool their efforts to govern themselves, farm part of the land, and also manage the adjacent naturist campground. Sunnier Palms has a common area with a clubhouse, pool, hot tub, public restrooms, showers, a common kitchen and an eating area for frequent community pot lucks. Outlying sections contain a large camping area for day and weekend visitors, a productive victory garden, and a 12 acre forest which is deed restricted as a conservation area. The preserve will always remain a pine forest with an excellent network of hiking trails and a number of interpretive signs pointing out native vegetation. For further information on Sunnier Palms (located at: 8800 Okeechobee Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34945), visit their web site:, or contact them directly by phone: 772-468-8512.

Carl Flick of Body Painted by Flick (BPBF) has been one of the invitees for a number of years. Each Artful Day at Sunnier Palms, BPBF has carried out performance art by body painting a subject for all to watch. Most participants find the process of body painting fascinating and enjoy seeing the creation of art on a unique and living canvas. Upon completion the finished body painting makes a great subject for participating photographers. During the tea party, attending artists and friends delight in the sharing of their newly made artwork.

It’s possible that your event can benefit from Body Painting by Flick’s performance art. To contact Carl Flick, go the BPBF web site:, or phone: 561-844-2223. E-mailing is possible by going go to: and then moving your computer’s mouse to “click here”. The web site will send your message.


  1. […] *For instance, today I got a demo of body painting…! […]

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