News Release

Tattoo Art Exhibit

Southeastern Gallery hosts Tattoo Art Exhibition

Contact: Rene Abadie


Click on thumbnail for high resolution photo

Tattoo art on display – Tattoo art in the Japanese style by Betsy Badwater of Pensacola, Fla., will be among the pieces on display at the “Ink and Needles” exhibit to be featured at the Southeastern Louisiana University Contemporary Art Gallery starting Oct. 13 and running through Nov. 11.

     HAMMOND – “Ink & Needles,” an exhibition of tattoo art, will be shown at the Southeastern Louisiana University Contemporary Art Gallery Oct. 13-Nov. 11.
     “The focus of the exhibition is on artwork that served as the preliminary inspiration for tattoos,” explained Dale Newkirk, gallery curator and professor of art. “There haven’t been many tattoo art shows and galleries, and most are photographs of people with tattoos. Those exhibits then are more about the photographer and less about the tattoo art itself.”
     The exhibition, which opens with a reception at 5 p.m. Oct. 13, will feature works from more than 20 tattoo artists from Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington. Each artist will display multiple works with styles ranging from traditional to Asian, as well as contemporary illustration. 
     Tattooing goes back more than 5,000 years, explained Newkirk, with evidence of the practice being found in ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman societies. Later, Japanese tattoo masters had a significant influence on the artistic development of the tattoo. Originally used as a way to mark criminals and slaves, the practice evolved into an art form, gaining popularity in the 19th century among French and Italian laborers and sailors.
     In modern American society, Newkirk said, the practice has become increasingly prevalent, with an estimated 36 percent of 18-25 year-olds having at least one tattoo.
New Orleans tattoo artist Donn Davis of Tattooagogo is serving as the technical advisor for the exhibition and will be displaying his work, along with Annette Larue and artists at Electric Ladyland in New Orleans and other artists from the region. 
     Newkirk is optimistic about educating students on the fine art aspects of tattoo imagery.
     “When we bring something like this into the gallery, we want visitors to see how this can be a fine art form,” he said. “We are trying to educate students on the variety of styles and imagery that have been developed.”
     Concurrently, the gallery will feature two smaller exhibitions. Russian-born printmaker Xenia Fedorchenko, an assistant professor of art at Lamar University in Beaumont, will exhibit prints and host a workshop in the university’s printmaking studio. She will present a lecture open to the public at noon Oct. 25 in the gallery. In addition, featured alumni artist Justin Barfield, currently a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame, will be showing his prints and presenting a lecture on his graduate school experience at noon, Nov. 13 in the gallery.
     The Contemporary Art Gallery is located in East Strawberry Stadium. For more information about the shows, contact the Southeastern Contemporary Art Gallery at (985) 549-5080, or e-mail Dale Newkirk at

More News...