Various Artists – Guest Curated by Grace Gutierrez 

December 27, 2018 – January 27, 2019

Firehouse features international tattoo artists in a captivating display of body art.

It started out only a trend for sailors, prisoners, and freaks. Slowly the artists, bartenders, mechanics, nurses, and teachers started showing visible ink. Tattoos have slowly become more of a norm in society. Bosses are starting to accept the form of self-expression in their employees. Fathers are inscribing their children’s names on their bodies; mothers, getting matching tattoos with their daughters. The once taboo practice is now a way of collecting affordable art. The quality of the art is stunning, surprising, and makes you think twice about judging those carrying such striking imagery right on their sleeves. Over 45 million people in the US have at least one tattoo and that number grows exponentially by the day. 1.6 Trillion dollars is spent annually in the US alone on tattoo work. It’s time to recognize the pace of this intimate art form.

thINK!, aims to bring forth the creatives that are pushing boundaries to show us uncommon and inspiring styles of tattooing. Extreme ingenuity by tattoo artist demands respect for a once trivialized medium. Bold, illusive illustrations open a portal to a world unknown. This show is not only for seasoned tattooed patrons, but for anyone that can appreciate well-made art. You don’t have to like tattoos, have tattoos, or have full sleeves to see the splendor in these artist’s work. The curiosities of those with virgin skin will be answered with a fine art display of this misunderstood craft; from new plays on tradition, abstraction, illustration, and even stick and poke.


I hear it all the time. A hushed voice as someone describes a person with tattoos. If you forget someone’s name you can ask, “What is that girl’s name, with the dark hair?”, but if you ask, “What is her name, the girl with the tattoos?” it is whispered. As if the girl that chose to carry a large volume of visible ink on her skin would mind if you mention the obvious. As if that girl wouldn’t describe her desire to get tattoos in a positive way. As if tattoos deserve the stigma attached to them.
thINK is an exhibition curated by that girl, the one that people whisper about her tattoos. I have seen first-hand how impressive a tattoo can be, yet still looked down on or judged. I have seen the prejudice that tattoo artists experience, their work marginalized or seen as kitschy. I would like every patron of thINK to discover for themselves the fine-art quality of the ever-evolving and complex art of tattooing. They deserve a platform for proving their worth, as they have chosen the most permanent of mediums. These are artists creating work that belongs in a gallery, so why shouldn’t it also go on our skin?


Guest Curator: Grace Gutierrez,