Kristen Renn, VISAC artistic director and curator, began setting up the gallery’s first show of the season, “Artistry & Ink” earlier this week. The exhibition is the first of its kind in the region, showcasing work by eight talented tattoo artists including Alana Cronshaw (above). The exhibit opens with a public reception Friday from 6-8:30 p.m. and will run until Nov.3. Sheri Regnier photo

Tattoo artistry showcased in VISAC’s first show

The downtown Trail gallery opens the season Friday night with ‘Artistry & Ink’

Skin is a canvas for nine local talents showcased Friday night at the VISAC Gallery.

“Artistry &Ink” features tattoo artists from Rossland, Trail, Castlegar, Slocan Valley and Nelson in a exhibition that highlights this diverse, skilled and important piece of Kootenay art culture, says Kristen Renn.

“We realize how important and inclusive this part of our local art culture is,” Renn, VISAC’s director, told the Trail Times. “Tattooing is such an amazing and skilled art form that many people take interest in, yet I feel is sometimes forgotten when acknowledging professional artists.”

All are welcome to season’s first show and opening reception, which runs from 6-8:30 p.m.

“We have invited numerous local tattoo artists to participate in this celebration and exhibition of artwork created by those that choose skin and ink as their canvas of professional expression,” said Renn. “Gallery visitors will get a chance to appreciate the specific style and strengths of each tattoo artist as an ‘Artist.’”

Each will include artwork they feel gives the audience a good scope of the work they create for tattoos, as well as for creative visual art, she added.

“We strongly encourage those that love tattoos and have tattoos to come to this show and show them off,” Renn said. “It’s a great chance to meet other local artists and art lovers, and there will be original work for sale, as well as some artists have prints available for those looking to take home a piece of the exhibit.”

Participating in the showcase are Darryl Cross, Alex Moon, Ojas Cats, Buzbee, Josh Gatten, Alana Cronshaw, Sylvie Le Sylvie, Meagan McLatchey, and Stephen Sakamoto.

This will be the region’s first gallery show that features tattoo artists and their ink.

“We wanted to make sure that there was a chance to celebrate and validate these artists who are such an important part of our local art culture,” Renn reflected.

“You notice going into different tattoo parlours and shops that each one is its own little gallery.

“We were honestly surprised nobody has thought of doing a show like this before in our area,” she continued.

“The VISAC Gallery &Art Centre always likes to open up it’s exhibition season with a new themed group show that we think will both engage and excite our community as well as bring together and showcase artists of the Kootenays. We are so very excited about the successful planning, hosting, and presentation of these professionals.”

Friday night is just a taste of what Renn has planned for VISAC’s 2017/18 season.

“One exhibit that we are very much looking forward to hosting is the Breast Feeding Art Expo in January and February,” she explained. “The Breastfeeding Art Expo is a five-year arts-and-health project that will celebrate and support breastfeeding.

“The project will involve artists and community members from across the Interior Health region who will work to explore the topic of breastfeeding, through art.”

The exhibit is a partnership between Interior Health and Kelowna Community Resources, and will include approximately fifteen major community artworks where professional artists work in a team with five or more community members.

“It will also include up to 100 independent art works,” Renn said. “The art will include paintings, sculptures, photography, art dolls, Aboriginal artwork, poetry, dance, collage, live art and much more.”

For more information about this show, visit breastfeedingartexpo.ca.

Along with holding space in its exhibition schedule for the VISAC Pottery Club Show &Sale in the spring, Renn mentioned upcoming solo shows from local artists, such as fibre artist Karen Thatcher.

For more details about the Trail gallery, located in the lower level of Selkirk College, visit visacgallery.com.

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