Dan Bonowski artwork in “The Artist Behind the Tattoo" at Quad City Arts Center -- January 30 through March 20.

Exhibit: Thursday, January 30, through Friday, March 20

Reception: Friday, February 7, 7 – 9 p.m.

Quad City Arts Center, 1715 Second Avenue, Rock Island IL

While they may earn their livings creating art for the body, a group of regional tattoo artists will also be bringing their art to the walls of the Quad City Arts Center from January 30 through March 20, with the Rock Island venue showcasing the creative gifts of nearly a dozen talents in the new exhibition The Artist Behind the Tattoo.

Fine art and tattooing go hand in hand, as both utilize skill sets such as an ability to draw and their creators must generally have an eye for color. Although not required for a license to tattoo, many tattoo artists have degrees in fine art, studied art, or at the very least, have a lifelong passion for drawing or cartooning. Good people skills and the ability to interpret a client’s ideas visually are other essential skills for tattooing. But The Artist Behind the Tattoo provides viewers an opportunity to see the true fine art of several regional tattoo artists and learn what inspires them when they're not limited by the shape and size of an area of skin or a client’s wishes. Vintage flash art and tattoo equipment will also be on display in the Quad City Arts Center's latest exhibition.

Area and regional talents exhibiting in The Artist Behind the Tattoo include: Juan Alvarez of Red Owl Collective; Dan Bonowski of The Oddfellow Arms; Beth Gray of Gray Goat Tattoo; Frank Hoffmaster of 3D Skin Lab; Alice Lorraine of Gray Goat Tattoo; Sam McFarland of Painted Monkey; independent tattoo artist Kevin Smith; Jorge Tapia of Aquemini Ink; and Aaron Vanderhart of Graf-Stick.

Hair design by Miguel Rosas

An opening reception for The Artist Behind the Tattoo, with guests invited to meet the artists and enjoy complimentary food and beverages, will take place at the Quad City Arts Center Gallery from 7 to 9 p.m. on February 7. Famed hair designer Miguel Rosas will demonstrate portraiture in hair starting at 7:30 p.m., Celestial by Design will paint henna designs for interested patrons throughout the evening, and free temporary tattoos will also be available while they last.

The Artist Behind the Tattoo will be on display through March 20, with regular gallery hours Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, and more information is available by calling (309)793-1213 or visiting QuadCityArts.com.

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