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Tattoo artist Josh Schellenberg works on a tattoo for client Juan Silva at the 1603 Tattoo & Piercing Co. in Ybor City. JIM REED/STAFF
BY JOHN W. ALLMAN
Published: September 9, 2014 More Information
TAMPA TATTOO ARTS CONVENTION
When: 2 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: Tampa Convention Center, 333 S. Franklin St,, Tampa
Tickets: $20 per day, $40 for a three-day weekend pass; tickets available at the door
Body art, particularly tattoos, has lost much of its social stigma in the past 15 to 20 years. Celebrities, athletes, co-workers, friends, even parents now have visible tattoos that they display with pride.
Getting a tattoo can be a personal experience, and many people choose to pick an artist and go to a private shop to have work done.
But Friday, the first-annual Tampa Tattoo Arts Convention expects thousands of people to willingly venture to the convention for a weekend full of body art appreciation, live performances and the shared experience of getting tattooed in a very large, open space.“It’s definitely more public,” said Rebecca Allan, event coordinator for Villain Arts, the Philadelphia-based company spearheading the event.The man behind Villain Arts, Troy Timpel, has a long history in the tattoo community. He is co-owner of Philadelphia Eddie’s Tattoo 621, a well-known Pennsylvania tattoo parlor. The company puts on tattoo conventions in seven other cities, including Chicago, Minneapolis and Baltimore.The company’s premiere event, the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention, now in its 17th year, drew 25,000 people this year.Allan said for Tampa about 250 artists, both local and from across the country, will be on hand to meet with fans. Some of the artists, such as Michael Oureque of Lakeland, have been featured on national cable television reality shows. Oureque appeared this year on CMT’s <URL destination="http://www.cmt.com/show/tattoo_titans/series.jhtml">“Tattoo Titans.”</URL>Allan said the exposure from shows such as “Ink Master,: which airs on the Spike TV […]