Sat. Dec 4th, 2021

If the body is a temple, who says it can’t be a heavily decorated temple?

Find the answer to that question as the city of Asheville hosts its second Tattoo Arts Convention Nov. 5-7 at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville.

Operated by Villain Arts, the family-friendly convention will feature special guests such as Al Fliction and Holli Marie, who have both competed on “Ink Master,” plenty of local and outside artists, vendors, entertainment and a seminar on the loss and reconstruction of one man’s full-body tattoo suit.

Attendees can be a canvas for over 300 industry professionals to apply their creativity to festivalgoers’ “temples.”

There also is juggling and magic displays for children.

Local artists include Emily Payne from Zen Ink in Asheville. Payne’s work emphasizes fine line work and detail while drawing inspiration from techniques seen in centuries-old etchings as well as old masters such as Albrecht Dürer and Francisco Goya. Payne is particularly interested in mythological pieces as well as pieces inspired by nature or manga art.

Entertainment will include magic, tattoo contests, a suspension show and Captain & Maybelle, a sideshow entertainment duo that has been featured on “America’s Got Talent” as well as in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” The more mature entertainment is expected to take place later in the evening at a time when most younger attendees will have left.

Dr. Carl Blasphemy (a pseudonym), who handles management, hosting, media relations and scheduling for Villain Arts said that it hosts the largest tattoo convention in the world.

“We’re the only touring tattoo company like we are,” Blasphemy said in a phone interview. “It’s a place for artists and vendors within the tattoo and art lifestyle to all come together, share artwork, ideas with each other and with the public.”

This convention is “a gathering and celebration of the art and the artists and the people. It’s a chance for them to be exposed to artists that they would not normally be exposed to,” said Blasphemy. Conventions also tend to be cheaper than getting ink in an actual studio.

The convention’s hours are 2-11 p.m. Nov. 5, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Nov. 6 and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 7. Tickets are $20 for one day or $40 for a three-day pass and are sold only at the door. Kids 12 and under will get free admission.

In an effort to provide a safe environment, all attendees must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test prior to entry. Vaccinated attendees must have received the final dose of their vaccine at least two weeks prior to the event. COVID-19 tests must be taken within 72 hours and have a negative result if unvaccinated. Masks are required unless actively eating or drinking.

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