Arts and Culture Blog Posts

Erotic Artbeat Northwest

One of the most amazing things about Portland is our love of art and all things creative. In our non-monogamous lifestyle we combine our love of art, along with our love of sex and we have several venues that host erotic art galleries. The following is a listing of those places, information about their galleries, and when and how you can view them. We will also talk a bit about the artists who are featured there when the information is available.

Gallery Privata

Gallery Privata is well known for all things stylish and posh, but their Art Gallery is one of the featured aspects of the establishment. On Thursday, December 6th, 2018 Gallery Privata will be celebrating an opening of the artistry of two unique, but distinctly different artists.

For the final art show of 2018, Club Privata has invited back some of our favorite artists for a group show to end the year. The beautiful works of David Rollins, Hooligan Lili, M. Martinez, Michael Love, Christopher Mooney, Marnie Ernst Zoa, Mike Friolo, Theresa Strauss and Arkady Brown will all be featured!

by M. Martinez Photography
“Santa’s Little Helper” by Lovelines

Club Privata is currently booking their 2019 art shows. If you are an artist or know someone that is, please have them email 2018 was an amazing year for erotic art at Club Privata, and we look forward to 2019 being even better.

Club Privata will be hosting a public art opening of these artists’ fine work, with no door fee or membership requirements, from 6-8pm on Thursday, December 6th, 2018. Come view the art, talk with the artists, snack on some amazing treats from Chef Curtis, and sample some of the tasty beverages from local breweries, wineries and distillers.

Club Privata

824 SW 1st Ave, Portland, OR

Thurs – 8pm-2am

Fri and Sat – 9pm-4am

Sanctuary Club

The Sanctuary Club is a an upscale and elegant event space and nightclub. Sanctuary provides a gathering space for a large and diverse sex-positive community. Sanctuary welcomes all gender identities and relationship configurations, LGBTQ+, poly, swing, kink, POC, and all curious, like-minded, happy people. Their venue is ADA accessible.

Sanctuary offers a full bar, lounge seating, dance floor, open play areas, dungeon furniture, ample sanitary supplies, and a fun, convivial atmosphere.

Darby Rages/Creations Euphoric

Image courtesy of Dan Nicoletta

Darby Rages has been passionate about art for as long as they can remember. Darby comes from a long family line of creatives, including famous French painter from the 1800’s, Jean-François Millet, an artist who influenced much of Van Gough’s early work.

With a supportive family environment, Darby was able to follow their dreams and ambitions from a young age and continue them into post secondary education. They attended the Maryland Institute, University of Massachusetts Boston, and finished their BFA at Massachusetts College of Art, as part of the Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) department. They spent much of their college years studying a wide variety of arts, including, but not limited to: graphic design, painting & drawing, sculpture, performance art, event planning, theatre, and audio & video projects.

Since completing their Bachelors in 2012, Darby left New England and the East Coast for new opportunities in the West, at that time in Berkeley, CA. In California, Darby continued to work in a variety of mediums, but began to focus on freelance design and the fine art of watercolor painting. While in the Bay Area, Darby created a 24 piece series of watercolor paintings that explored the beauty and diversity of the human form, a series called Bodies. With the success of the series and showings at various galleries in the SF Bay Area, Darby continued the theme in a 7 piece watercolor series entitled Vulva.

In 2017, Darby relocated to the PNW, settling in Portland, OR. Inspired by the nature of the area, they began working on a series of nature designs and printed patches, done mostly in pencil, along with several other smaller projects done in ink & watercolor. Darby also continues to work freelance as a graphic & web designer, working primarily with small businesses and independent clients.

Darby has shown in galleries all over the East & West Coast, including juried, group, and solo shows. Their art explores many themes, including narratives on social issues such as sex, gender, social norms, desirability, poverty, mental health, trauma, and the exploration of natural forms. Their art is less about the finished product, and more about the conversations the work inspires.

Aside from their talents in art, Darby also has a passion for social work, social justice, and harm reduction; they volunteer with a number of local groups and non-profits. Darby identifies as a non-binary queer femme, radical faerie, kinkster, self-proclaimed geek, polyamourous, and pagan. All of these identities, and more, have helped shape the creative endeavors and life of artist Darby Rages.

Bodies and Vulva

Darby Rages’ December show at Sanctuary is made up of two of Darby’s most recent watercolor series; Bodies and Vulva.

Bodies, the series, was created by Darby Rages in 2015. Darby began re-exploring watercolor as a medium after a decade hiatus. As a fat-identified femme, Darby had been collecting images of photographs depicting larger female figures for a while, and since they have always found themselves attracted to forms found in nature, and more specifically the human body, they began trying to recreate the forms in the photos. The photos began to find new life in the paintings. The paintings showcased the softness and depth of the bodies juxtaposed with vibrant colors. Darby made a choice early on to crop the images down to just the body itself, removing the distraction of facial expressions, and later to help make the series more vulnerable while simultaneously anonymous. After the first few pieces Darby began working with local models, most of who were members of the San Francisco Bay Area queer community. As the series developed it expanded to include more body shapes, sizes, colors, and gender expressions. The response to the series was excellent. The beauty they saw in each piece, and the vast individuality that existed in the series surprised both models and gallery patrons.

Vulva, the series following Bodies in 2017, furthers the cultural dialogue surrounding body norms. Media in the U.S. pumps into so many of us, the idea that all bodies must look a certain way in order to be seen as valid. Vulva examines the reality of our uniqueness as seen between the legs. Darby worked from photographs modeled by everyday individuals and turned them into 6x6in hyper-realistic watercolor wonders. Although the imagery might be considered graphic, it explores parts of us that are often shamed and exploited. The series currently consists of 7 pieces, however the goal it to eventually expand this too, to include all genitalia, anonymously labeled, as part of a genitalia book.

Both series ask the viewer to examine their own thoughts on body politics, desirability, and uniqueness. Think of how you judge others based on their physical features. Or even how you judge yourself. Join us at Sanctuary this December and take in both series, up close and personal!

First Thursday Opening is on

Thursday, December 6th, at 7pm;

No membership or door fee required before 9pm

The Sanctuary Club
33 NW 9th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
Above Splash Bar  enter on 9th

Update – Sadly it would appear that technical difficulties made it impossible for Darby’s show to go up at Sanctuary.  Look for an upcoming Artist Spotlight with her in the coming months

We want to promote ALL erotic art First Thursday shows. If you are a curator for an Erotic Art Gallery and wish to have your Art Show featured in our monthly article, you’re invited to contact us at

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