by Sam Paul
Photography by Steve Prue
Over Labor Day Weekend, the Sheraton Hotel in Boston’s Back Bay was transformed into a four-day party, art show, and tattooing extravaganza featuring over 150 artists and vendors showcasing their incredible craftsmanship, artistry and know-how. In spite of severe weather warnings due to Hurricane Earl, the hall was packed with eager attendees throughout the convention.
This year marked the convention’s ninth anniversary and its first time in its new and upgraded venue. “It’s a little glitzier, with far more possibility,” said event organizer Nathan Alexander of Witch City Ink and Lightwave Tattoo. “Boston has gotten a major facelift. It’s been a long time coming. Boston’s an expensive city, so it’s been tricky trying to pull this along, and trying to find the right match. It’s like trying to find a new boyfriend or girlfriend.”
Alexander’s vision for the convention is one that accommodates working artists and those who want to be tattooed by minimizing the amount of pipe and machete sellers, keeping the side events non-invasive and promoting a clean and professional atmosphere. “I want to be surrounded by good artists and I want the focus to be on the art and the tattooing and not so much on the freak show side or the other kind of things that orbit around tattoo shows,” he says. “I understand that these things need to happen to sell tickets as well. You need to have other lifestyle things, but I want the focus to be on art.”
Read the rest of our Boston Convention coverage and see all the photos in Skin&Ink’s February issue…on sale now!