Two purple mannequins hang on a wall at the Art Matters Art Centre this month, as part of an interactive and eclectic exhibit put on by local tattoo artist Rachel Rose.
She has dubbed the show, “From Mild to Wild,” a slogan that she borrowed from her mentor, and one that she applies to her artwork and her shop.
“It’s tattoo art,” she explained. “Everything from kittens to dragons. Since I moved to B.C., my art is all over the place.”
Rose will be the featured artist for the month of January at Art Matters. She is the new owner of a store on Third Avenue, previously called Silver Tiger Tattoo Shop. The name will soon be changed to “Ocean Valley Ink” in the new year, and the shop will be holding its grand opening at the beginning of February.
Rose has been tattooing professionally since she was 19 years old, completing a formal apprenticeship in Barrie, Ont. She also does adventure photography on the side.
Originally from Niagara Falls, Rose moved to the Alberni Valley in 2008, drawn to the west coast by the waves.
“It took me surfing, and I never went home,” she laughed.
Now she has a family in the area, and she’s been busy setting up the art show as well as her new business.
“It just happened to happen this way,” she said. “He was ready to retire and move out when I was ready to move in.”
The exhibit at the art centre will be an interactive one, featuring displays where visitors can try their hand at tattooing mannequins.
There will be an artist’s reception at Art Matters on Sunday, Jan. 8 from 2–4 p.m., with coffee, tea, snacks and homemade chili.
The Art Matters Society will also be holding auditions later this month for A Memory, Monologue, A Rant, and a Prayer–a performance with proceeds benefitting female victims of violence and sexual abuse. The auditions will be held on Saturday, Jan. 21 and Sunday, Jan. 22 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Art Matters Art Centre.