Are tattoo studios 'artists' studios'? Pittsford says no

Are tattoo studios ‘artists’ studios’? Pittsford says no

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Are tattoo studios 'artists' studios'? Pittsford says no

Love Hate Tattoo owner says state zoning laws differentiate between tatoo partlors and artist studios. Video by Annette Lein (Photo: ANNETTE LEIN, staff photographer) 1303 CONNECT 35 TWEET LINKEDIN 36 COMMENTEMAILMORE

The board members didn’t question whether the men before them hoping to open a business in Pittsford village were artists who planned to work out of a studio.

The sticking point for the Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals was whether the men would work out of an "artists’ studio."

Defining their workplace was crucial because village zoning regulations specify that artists doing business in the section of Pittsford where these men wanted to set up shop must work out of an "artists’ studio."

After much back and forth, the board voted 4-to-1 to uphold a decision of the village building inspector that the workplace of Joseph DiProjetto and Ben Wight wouldn’t meet code.

You see, DiProjetto and Wight are tattoo artists and they’re covered in ink.

"It comes down to Pittsford not wanting tattooed people in their town doing business," said DiProjetto. "It’s okay if a tattooed person is pumping your gas, but a tattooed person opening a business in Mayberry won’t fly."

Once the province of bikers and sailors, tattoos have gone so mainstream you can’t sit in the stands of a suburban Little League game on a summer day without getting an eyeful of flaming skulls, soulful roses and cursive poetry inked on moms and dads.

“It comes down to Pittsford not wanting tattooed people in their town doing business. It’s okay if a tattooed person is pumping your gas, but a tattooed person opening a business in Mayberry won’t fly.”Joseph DiProjettoYet despite the unprecedented popularity of tattoos and renowned museums dedicating space to them, tattooists still fight for recognition as serious artists in Norman Rockwell’s America.A month after the board voted on Sept. 15, the village attempted unsuccessfully to relegate tattooing and five other businesses that trustees deemed undesirable to an out-of-the-way area of the village. Now, […]