The legendary Love at the Glove art show will return to Southern Illinois University’s Surplus Gallery next week after a three-year hiatus.

Jason Wonnell, now a visiting lecturer at the School of Art and Design, handled most of the organizing for the event when he attended SIU as an undergraduate from 2010 to 2012. He said a spirit of radical acceptance was what once made the show so popular. 

“It (was) such a sex-positive, body-positive, gender-positive, love-positive show where everyone just brought their expression of love or sex or gender,” Wonnell said.

Bill Sieber, who attended SIU’s School of Art and Design as an undergraduate a decade ago, remembers Love at the Glove as a joyful, sometimes bawdy affair.

“It was kind of a departure from the seriousness, I think, that comes with art school and having exhibitions in a gallery,” Sieber said.

When Sieber returned to SIU as a master’s student in the School of Art and Design, he was disappointed to learn that the art show had been dropped after a 17-year run.

“This is sort of a big event that the community would come out for. It wasn’t just the school,” Sieber said.

Sieber is a member of C4, a student sculpture guild at SIU. The organization has stepped up to bring the event back this year.

Love at the Glove will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16 in the Surplus Gallery, in the Glove Factory at 432 S. Washington St. in Carbondale. Admission is $5.

C4 is accepting 2D, 3D, installation and performance art submissions from 1 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at the Surplus Gallery. The submission fee for each piece is $5 and includes admission.

The organization is accepting work from students, faculty and community artists. The theme is simply love in all its manifestations, Sieber said. 

“It’s about love, it’s about the positive aspects of love, the negative aspects of love. Some people’s artwork can be borderline raunchy or risqué,” Sieber said.

DJ Pickel, of Chicago, will provide entertainment for the event. He has participated in Love at the Glove in the past, Sieber said. 

“He was excited to know that we were bringing it back, and he’s excited to come down and DJ the party,” Sieber said.

Because the show will likely include adult themes, children are discouraged from attending.

“There will be some NSFW artwork, perhaps. We’re not restraining the artists, so it’s not the most kid-friendly thing,” Sieber said.

Costumes are welcome at the event.

“I would certainly encourage people to dress up, but you don’t have to. … I’ve seen everything from elaborate gowns to leathers,” Sieber said.

“People get dressed up in leather bondage, sometimes in tuxedos, sometimes in suits made out of stuffed animals — just wild expressions of love,” Wonnell said. 

More information is available at loveattheglove.com.

janis.esch@thesouthern.com

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On Twitter: @janis_eschSI

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