Article and photographer by Mary D’Aloisio
The springtime weather was pleasant and the nearby surroundings were historic as the port town of Wilmington, NC accommodated the first annual 2011 Cape Fear Tattoo and Arts Expo. At the Wilmington Exhibit Hall, promoter Bart Andrews (Bombs Away Tattoo) put together a top-notch and varied list of highly skilled tattooers at a decent venue, and ran a relatively smooth first-year show, much to the delight of a solid crowd.
With tattoo conventions fast becoming a bit of an underground-American pastime, and new events seeming to pop up every week, it can be difficult to check out every show until the feedback from artists and attendees is shared. But Bart Andrews was deftly able to attract an A-plus artists list, making the debut of Cape Fear a do-not-miss event. The lineup featuring Megan Hoogland and traditional kingpin Myke Chambers, as well as the very best in middle-East Coast tattooing, including some of my personal local faves, Josh Payne, Taylor Cort, Tanane Whitfield and Gabriel Cece.
The down-and-dirty details of the show were a bit slow-going at first, as an uneducated local health-official insisted that each fresh tattoo be treated with a dose of a specific percentage of alcohol–which no one had been prepared to supply. As the schematics of responsible tattooing were worked out, and trips to the local drugstore were completed, the show finally got off and rolling Friday night. All were ready to rumble.