by Victoria Vlisides – 12/14/2008
Fifty-seven-year-old veteran nude model Jerome “Jerry” Kutcheid, who’s taken modeling from a job to an art form in and of itself, has always enjoyed “the world of the arts.”
“I guess I like the attention being paid to me,” he said. “I’m a little egotistical.”
Walking into the drawing studio in the Center of the Arts, one might not expect to see a man sitting in front of the classroom-butt naked.
But the comfort-level of the artists recreating Kutcheid’s image in their medium of choice, made the classroom as ordinary as any other.
Kutcheid, a UW-Whitewater employee, (look him up, he’s in the directory) modeled securely and fearlessly.
“I’m a naturist,” Kutcheid said about his frequent paid-for state of nakedness.
“I really, honestly forget that I don’t have anything on,” he said. “It’s almost like a natural state to me.”
Lecturer of Arts Beth Ann Moran has had Kutcheid model for her drawing classes for over six years.
“It’s great to have people like Jerry, so students can see older models,” she said. “He’s very stable and experienced, and has a natural inclination toward modeling.”
Before nude modeling, Kutcheid worked at a graphi art’s place making signs on an assembly line.
Kutcheid, who lives in Milwaukee, looked into nude modeling because he enjoyed the arts and had a higher comfort level than other people when naked.
He described a naturist as someone who enjoys clothes-optional beaches and “swimming the natural way” sans a swimsuit.
To prep himself for modeling, he stretches out muscles that tend to get stiff during long poses.
His first modeling job was at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Since, he’s been all over Southern Wisconsin and the Chicago-area.
“I happen to be the veteran model in Milwaukee,” he said.
Because of his well-known status in the Wisconsin art culture, he usually has no problem getting modeling sessions.
Kutcheid has had to model with underwear on, but prefers nude modeling because it’s an “unnatural state in underwear.”
“It’s less sexual if you’re nude,” he said. “So the models aren’t [sexual] objects.”
His longest pose was an outstanding 77 hours, though he had breaks, for a classical realism class that was extremely detail-oriented.
“When they’re done with it, it looks like a photograph,” he said.
The longest pose without breaks he’s done was an hour-and-a-half long.
His least favorite aspect of nude modeling is being in cold temperatures.
“In some of those classrooms, you could easily chill a six pack,” he said.
Kutcheid doesn’t mind modeling with other people, but he prefers to have the “stage” to himself.
“I like being a one-man show,” he said.
The main types of poses he’s directed to do are standing, action, sitting, reclining, and sequence poses.
His highest wages were $27 per hour, but he usually is paid about $17 per hour at UW-Whitewater.
Another perk of modeling, is having hundreds of pieces of art work made in his image. In fact, someone even told Kutcheid they had spotted a drawing of him as far away as Oklahoma city.
Modeling has allowed Kutcheid to make life-long contacts.
“They don’t see me as a model, they see me as a friend,” he said.
In his free-time, he enjoys books of artwork, music, reading and hiking.
Interested students who desire to follow in Kutcheid’s footsteps, can apply to be a nude model at the university. For more information, call Sue Messer at MesserS@uww.edu. Starting pay is $10.50 per hour.