A 2004 calendar promotes Monterey County tourism by asking local notables to bare it all.
Thursday, February 20, 2003
Photo by Robert Packard: Beefcake In Paradise: Dan Koffman is the first to volunteer to grace the pages of a new calendar showcasing the visual splendors of Monterey County.
The charitable ladies of Rhylstone, England did it with their 2000-2001 calendar; so why shouldn''t the artists, politicians, chefs, business leaders and celebrities of Monterey County?
"It" is posing nude for a calendar-in this case, one aimed at promoting Monterey County products, events and people to potential tourists from around the world.
The racy 2004 calendar project is the brainchild of Patricia Hamilton, owner of Pacific Grove''s Park Place Publications and author of the 288-page Monterey County Guide. Her mind was already set on coming up with a new way to promote local tourism when she saw a nude photography show last spring at the Pacific Grove Art Center. After mulling over the concept with a friend (who eventually dropped out of the project) Hamilton decided to publish a calendar of county events that would feature 12 tastefully-done nudes (no full-frontal shots)-one for each month, thematically tied to that month''s highlighted event. February''s event, for example, will probably be the AT&T Pro-Am in Pebble Beach; July''s might be the California Rodeo in Salinas. Every local city gets an event, and every event gets a naked man or woman to brag it up.
"There are a lot of Monterey County calendars available, with beautiful four-color pictures of local scenery," Hamilton says. "I knew this would get people''s attention."
Hamilton suggested her idea to photographer Robert Packard, whose initial reaction, he recalls, was: "Why would anyone agree to pose nude for our calendar?" He quickly jumped on board, however, and is now just as eager about the project as Hamilton. Tom Biggs, who compiles lists of county events for Inns by the Sea, agreed to work on the daily and monthly listings.
But in the end, it''s all about the pictures. Packard has shot some prototypes to show potential posers what he and Hamilton have in mind. The only good sport they''ve nailed down so far is Dan Koffman, owner of Koffman Gallery in Monterey, whose thoughtful pose will grace August 2004. Hamilton is now trying to persuade other local notables to ante up for the general economic good. She''d like a mix of well-known people and just ordinary folks-the Salinas Rodeo organizers, for example, told her they''re pretty sure they can rustle up a good-looking cowboy for the July space. "We''ll give him boots and a hat, and tell him to use it wisely," Hamilton says.
Her big hope is to get one or two celebrities to lend their bodies, for free, to the cause. Like Clint Eastwood. Or maybe Brad Pitt, who owns a home here. "I''ve sent Clint a package," Hamilton says. "I''d love to get him for the AT&T, but I''ll put him wherever he wants to go." She also wrote to chef and food columnist John Pisto, suggesting that he pose for January''s featured event-the Monterey WhaleFest -since he owns restaurants on Cannery Row and Fisherman''s Wharf.
Any celebrity who agrees to take part in the project will, she says, "be giving the local economy a major shot in the arm," as well as helping to raise more money for the Arts Habitat, a proposed arts center planned for the former Fort Ord that will receive $1 from every calendar sold. "The whole project is fun," says Arts Habitat director Richard Mayer.
Hamilton and company will hold a big launching party for the calendar later this summer. The party will be, of course, clothing optional.
Want to pose? Call Patricia Hamilton at 649-6640.