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to show Winnipeg just what the art modelling world is made of. They’re working on a breast cancer benefit show; they hold safety seminars; they advocate for healthy wages and increased awareness of the challenges of posing for an artist’s pen.
“It’s essential,” said Winnipeg artist Robert Sim. “ You need to be familiar with what a body looks like, how they move. You can work from photographs, but you’ll learn far less about the construction of the body. And then when it comes to constructing figures out of your imagination ... it will be exceedingly difficult.”
To help artists master that understanding, Torchia, McDuff and their peers will explode in goosebumps in an unheated studio, twist their bodies into striking poses, and hold still for hours.
They can make anywhere from $15 to $40 an hour.
“I would like to see someone else actively stand or lie in the same position for even 15 minutes without moving or appearing different.” Torchia laughs. “It’s not always an easy job to do.”
Model Muriel Torchia poses for artist Marley Rae McDuff at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.