Nane Portrait

Thu, Nov 14, 2019

Santa Cruz Tattoo'd Sneak Peak

We all have powerful stories that shape who we are... and some of us choose to make those stories visible through tattoos.

In our new exhibition, Santa Cruz Tattoo'd, you're invited to explore the stories behind how and why people get tattoos. Inside you'll find stunning portraiture done by local photographer, Mickey Ta, who worked with individuals one-on-one to capture their vulnerability.

From experiences of loss, empowerment, and reconnecting with cultural heritage, the stories and artistry shared were as powerful and diverse as our community.

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“I got into tattooing as a way to help people visually express themselves. It was a way to make a living through my art.”

Klem — Samuel O'Reilly's Tattoo Parlor

Get a sneak-peek into some of the individuals featured in the exhibition below.

Then, be sure to uncover their full story inside Santa Cruz Tattoo'd when it opens Friday, November 22nd.

Kelly Portrait

Good Luck: Kelly McMurray

“I was getting my own shop, but losing a boss that appreciated and respected me. It’s a male-dominated industry and this gave me hope that one day it wouldn’t be.”

-Kelly McMurray

Nane Portrait

Tattoo Me: Nane Alejandrez

“I love talking to people about tattooing and have spent years researching it. It's an art I've grown to love since I was a twelve year old trying to tattoo myself!”

-Nane Alejandrez

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Tapping Into Culture: Jacquie Benetua-Rolens

“The need to decolonize. To reunite and belong. To remind ourselves that we are all connected. It just seemed right. So I decided to tap that root.”

-Jacquie Benetua-Rolens

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I’m A Tomboy: Bonnie Steward

“At the time I was very confused in my gender and who I was. Getting that tattoo helped me identify what was true for me. You can call me he, you can call me she, but I’m just a Tomboy.

-Bonnie Steward

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A Tattooer & Machinist: Bobby Magnante

“I really enjoy the art, but I also enjoy the mechanics of tattooing.”

-Bobby Magnante