UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Art of Tattooing at the Harbor Art Gallery

Nestled on the first floor of McCormack, right near the cafe, is a space that few UMASS Boston students venture. The Harbor Art Gallery is student-run and usually features a new show every month. It is a beautiful, open space filled with natural light flooding in from the huge glass windows at its front. Currently on show is an exhibit called Drawing outside the Line: The Fine Art of Tattoos, featuring local tattoo artists. The show officially opened on September 15th and will run until October 25th. There is a total of eight artists featuring work in the exhibit and they come from two local tattoo shops, Regeneration Tattoo and Kaleidoscope Tattoo. Regeneration is located in Allston at 155 Harvard Ave. and Kaleidoscope is in Cambridge at 2374 Mass Ave. The curator of The Harbor Art Gallery, Stephen Piriello, attempted to contact ten shops around Boston and these two shops were the only ones who expressed interest and came through with a body of work. Stephen believed that the show would resonate with the students at UMASS as it is something that many can relate to or find interesting.

The art of tattooing appeals to such a wide variety of society, traversing religions, socioeconomics and age. Tattooing itself is an ancient form of expression dating far back into ancient times and spanning all cultures. Tattoos appear on Egyptian mummies dating to 2,000 BCE and Iceman, found on the Italian-Austrian border, who lived 5,200 years ago. In many indigenous tribes tattoos signify a rite of passage and body art has become progressively less taboo in western cultures.

Each of the artists featured at the show had a number of pieces displayed which were done in a range of mediums including spray paint on canvas, pen on paper, and multi-media collages along with photographs of some of their tattoos.

If people were ever to question the validity of tattoos as an art form, this exhibit truly highlights just how talented these artists are. The intricacies and details of the pen drawings are truly incredible and the colors used in many of the paintings capture your attention with their vibrancy. The actual tattoos are equally as impressive and range from delicate flowers, to intricate and intertwining sleeves to the wonderfully gruesome. You can make out the unique individuality and style of the different artists, one of who was present at the show. Jimmy Snaz is from the Boston area and began his career as a graffiti artist. Three years ago he began tattooing and has been with Kaleidoscope Tattoo for the past year. He is an incredible natural talent, having no formal training, and works in the mediums of spray paint, tattooing and pencil and pen sketches. Make sure to look for his two large canvases at the show, both are spray paint on campus and rich with color.

The Harbor Art Gallery is a wonderful resource on campus and should be better utilized, especially by students who are looking for a venue to display their own artistic creations. The curator is eager to work more closely with students at UMASS and would gladly talk with anyone about their ideas. So, next time you find yourself with a couple of minutes between classes or some spare time on your hands make sure to stop and see Drawing outside the Lines: The Fine Art of Tattooing, perhaps you will receive the inspiration to get one of your own.