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Star City Tattoo & Arts Expo showcases artists

Catherine Ramirez

For the fourth year, the Star City Tattoo and Arts Expo showcased more than 150 tattoo artists from the area March 22-24, at the El Paso Convention Center.

Each day, tattoo enthusiasts, artists and those who appreciate the trade filled the convention center. Attendees could get a piece of body artwork from tattoo artists or take a look at the art of those who did receive a new addition.

“This is my third or fourth time at the tattoo expo and my favorite part about being a part of this is being surrounded by all the tattoo artists,” said Alex Rodriguez, a tattoo artist with Steady Ink Tattoo Studio at 1506 Lee Trevino Drive.

The expo was not only the place to receive a new tattoo for guests. Local artists were able to network and connect with other artists to advance their skills.

Rusty Cooper, a tattoo artist with Sun City Tattoos has been tattooing for nine years and said his tattooing style is known as neo-traditional.

“The expo is an awesome way to meet people and get your name out there, as an artist,” Cooper said. “I’m from Ohio and, to me, local people are those you need to connect with it’s the best thing.”

When asked how many tattoos he has, Cooper said he has too many to count.

“I have more embarrassments than anything, I started too early at the age of 14 so I was young,” Cooper said.

For guests that have a few tattoo regrets, there were several tattoo removal shops present at the expo to aid those in need.

“This place is perfect for a shop like mine. I get all kinds of people. I get tattoo artists because they have a lot of old work they want gone. I also get some who want cover-ups and they come to me to fade out a tattoo,” said Esteban Lucero who owns Before and After Laser Tattoo Removal located at 907 Chelsea St. “You don’t have to do permanent removal. We treat certain parts.”

The expo featured special performances from pole dancers and a live performance from Marlo Marquise internationally renowned sideshow, cabaret, striptease and suspension artist.

The tattoo expo was kid-friendly with small craft stations, along with local food eateries, local vendors, and reptiles and small animals from Ark Exotics, a local pet store, for guests to play with.

“Every year it gets better,” Cooper said.

All three days included competitions, including best small color and best neo-traditional. Best of Show was awarded to local tattoo artist Omar Orozco from Aspired Vision Studio, 1580 George Dieter Drive. The competition was judged by special guest Yallzee, a Puerto Rican tattoo collector, world traveler and journalist.

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Star City Tattoo & Arts Expo showcases artists