Paradise Tattoo Gathering meets Rocky Mountain paradise |

Paradise Tattoo Gathering meets Rocky Mountain paradise

Aaron Bible
Special to the Daily
Special to the DailyBody art collectors and observers will find talented tattoo artists from around the country at the Paradise Tattoo Gathering at Keystone starting Thursday.

Seminars and classes at the Paradise Tattoo Gathering Thursday through Sunday at Keystone Resort are filling up fast. Shawn Barber’s live portrait painting class on Thursday is sold out and other presentations are close, so participants interested in the four-day local event are encouraged to get online and register now.

The event is open to the public, and tattoo artists, collectors of body art and aficionados from around the region are invited to attend. Doors open at 11 a.m. Thursday and the event promises to be one of the most heavily inked weekends of the year in Summit County.

For those interested in getting tattooed, go online and try to pre-book with your artist of choice, or show up early, as some artists will be operating on a first-come first-served basis. Dozens of well-known ink slingers from around the country will be on hand for your collecting pain and pleasure. Big Gus from Hesperia, Calif., will be tattooing with a close-up camera and microphone so that audience members can watch and ask questions during the session. Artist Shawn Barber and other special guests will make a kick-off speech at noon on Thursday as a preview to the weekend. Other special artist presentations include sculpting with Chet Zar, a lecture by Jeff Gogue, sketching with Tommy Lee Wendtner and a “State of the Industry” panel discussion. Each morning, Jen Schici will lead a Kundalini yoga class for tattoo artists before the show opens again at 11.

A tattoo collector’s seminar called “Beyond the INK” takes place at 11:30 a.m. Friday, designed to empower tattoo lovers to make the best decisions about their body art. Russ Abbott will discuss a deeper understanding of the tattoo artists’ palette and Ian McKown will lead a still life painting class, all intended to improve the skill and creativity – and thus the end results – of all tattoo artists out there. Also at the conference, artists will find seminars on topics such as insurance, photography, cover-ups, apprenticeships, copyright and business and client management.

Parties, art exhibits, live painting, group critiques, tattoo contests and prizes will also take place all weekend. Some classes cost extra and some are included in the price of admission to the Gathering, so check the website for details and to register ( One seminar of note bound to fill up is Adrian Lee’s One Body Seminar, where he will discuss approaching the body as a giant canvas.

Tickets are available as day passes for body art collectors, weekend passes for collectors and weekend passes for artists featuring admission to various events. The Artist 4 Pack is marked down from $400 to $300 and provides admission to the tattoo and live art room, the live tattooing seminar with Big Gus on Thursday, panel discussions each day, entry into the group critique and the TattooNOW internet marketing seminar. Tattoo vendors and suppliers will be on hand for the fun all weekend as well. Take advantage of discounted lodging for participants at Keystone Lodge.

The first gathering was produced in 2008. “The opportunity to bring the Tattoo Gathering out West has helped the show reach a whole new crew of tattooers, so we are able to grow the convention,” said event organizer Gabe Ripley. “But instead of watering it down, we are able to push the Gathering even more as we are able to include many different artists and styles while maintaining our very high standard.”


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