Beyond Ink Recent Artwork by South Bend and Regional Tattoo Artists

Exhibition Dates:

July 21 – October 7, 2018
Warner Gallery

Reception: Friday, October 5, 5:00 – 9:00p.m.

14 years following Thomas Edison’s patented invention of a “stencil-pen,” Samuel O’Reilly adapted the design to patent the first electric tattoo machine in the United States (1891). His invention made tattooing quicker and cheaper, opening it to the masses as a possible outlet of self expression. Almost 130 years later, tattoos are in the mainstream. A 2015 Harris Poll shows that nearly three in ten Americans (29%) has at least one tattoo. Seven in ten (69%) of those have two or more.

Even though tattooing has as long a history as other artistic mediums (archaelogists have found Egyptian mummies with tattoos from 3300BC), it is not always looked at through the same fine art lens. Historically, tattoos have been put on the same level as outsider or folk art in Western culture. And regardless of its increasing popularity, there is still a stigma against tattoos and people who choose to have them.

Beau Guenin
Artwork by Beau Guenin

Beyond Ink hopes to further break down remaining stigmas and stereotypes by showcasing the artwork of tattoo artists from South Bend and the region. Their work is in a variety of media and approaches: oil and acrylic painting, watercolor, drawing, installation and more. Perhaps by seeing this different side of tattooers, we can see them for what they are — artists — and we can reach a deeper appreciation and respect for their profession and creations. Some followed a course that lead them through art school, while others learned their craft apprenticing multiple years with a master tattooer. In either case, each has spent years honing his or her craft and refining an individual style and unique voice in their work — both on and off someone’s skin.

Featured artists include:
Larry Bone  |  Marvel Tattoo, South Bend, IN
Emily Chance  |  Conception Gallery, Saint Joseph, MI
Jose Cruz  |  Crimson Knight Tattoo & Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN
Obie Cruz  |  Crimson Knight Tattoo & Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN
Betzy Eaton  |  Genesis Tattoo, South Bend, IN
Beau Guenin  |  Masterwork Tattoo, Indianapolis, IN
Half Pint  |  Bicycle Tattoo, South Bend, IN
Gifford Kasen  |  Logan Square Tattoo, Chicago, IL
Stefan Lane  |  Marvel Tattoo, South Bend, IN
Dusty Neal  |  Black Anvil Tattoo, Fort Wayne, IN
Amber Olsen  |  Stillhouse Tattoo, South Bend, IN
Ray Rogers  |  Genesis Tattoo, South Bend, IN
Allie Sider  |  Logan Square Tattoo, Chicago, IL
Peyton Stewart  |  Chicago, IL
Gabe Thompson  |  Body Gallery, Benton Harbor, MI
Michelle Wanhala  |  Pioneer Tattoo, Chicago, IL

Included in the exhibition is an educational area that explores the history of tattoos and the tattooing process. Leave your mark in the exhibition by “tattooing” (drawing) on a life-size mannequin. Take a picture and share your image with SBMA on Instagram with the hashtag #SBMAtattoo and your work will be added to an ever-expanding slideshow shown in the exhibition.

Do you have a tattoo that is exceptionally meaningful to you? Share an image of it along with a brief description of what it means to you through Instagram with the hashtag #SBMAtattoo. A juried selection of images will be selected, printed, and added to the exhibition as part of The Side Show. Those selected will be able to keep their print at the end of the show. Learn more here.

Image (above): Installation view

Emily Chance
Gifford Kasen, “Mercy”
Larry Bone
Amber Olsen
Gabriel Thompson, “Talking Out the Side of Her Neck”
Michelle Wanhala
Stefan Lane



Betzy Eaton

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