Oct. 26—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A showcase of creativity from area tattoo artists is being featured at Gallery on Gazebo.
The Tattoo Artists Exhibit is on display through Nov. 25 at the gallery, 140 Gazebo Park, downtown Johnstown.
The display features the work of six Johnstown-area tattoo artists.
Tattoo art has an extensive and enlightening history, dating back 5,200 years.
Tattoos tell stories and give messages, and are significant across cultures and time, from the Egyptians, the Greeks, Romans, New Zealanders and Native Americans.
Modern tattoo history appears to begin in New York City with the invention of the electronic tattoo machine in 1891.
Norman Ed, exhibition facilitator, said the show was designed to open a dialogue between what is considered traditional art and the modern expression of contemporary tattoo artists.
"We wanted to open the doors to their world of art and put it on the walls," he said.
"We're building some bridges between the world of tattoo artists and your typical gallery- going artists."
Tattoo artists were asked to submit original pieces for the juried exhibit.
"It's not about tattoos or tattoo art, it's about the tattoo artists," he said.
"The one narrow parameter for this show was you must currently be making some part of your income doing tattoos."
The display includes 17 pieces, ranging from watercolor and acrylic paintings, ceramic, sculpture, graphite and pencil, paint marker on plywood, digital print and charcoal.
The show was juried by Johnstown photographer Scott Miller, who specializes in portraiture, senior photos, families and advertising.
Winners include "Distraught Beauty," a graphite and pencil piece by Cullen McQuillan, first place, $100; "Longing," a digital print by Wesley Lin, second place, $50; and "Father Time," a tattoo by Georgie Carnevali, third place, $50.
"I greatly respect the work they do as artists," Ed said.
Moving forward, he said the plan is to grow the exhibition and host it yearly at the gallery.
"We want people to see the talent that is here and look at the ability that these tradespeople have," Ed said.
"This opens the door for people who are interested in tattoos to see the work and then consider owning one of these artists tattoos."
Most of the pieces in the show are available for purchase.
There is no fee to attend the exhibition.
Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
For more information, visit www.galleryongazebo.org.