Local tattoo and beauty salon use the arts to sponsor youth programming

Local tattoo and beauty salon use the arts to sponsor youth programming
April 14
00:00 2016
Photos by Ashlea Jones
Tattoo Artist Erran Hamlin paints live at the Evening of Art event on Sunday, April 10



Local artists joined together Sunday, April 10, to contribute their talents to the Evening of Art event sponsored by the Basement Tattoo and Beauty Studio at the Delta Arts Center. This event was a fundraiser to generate money for youth art camps. This all-black affair featured over 20 pieces of canvas art from two local tattoo artists and showcased four spoken-word artists.

“The canvas art featured was painted by the tattoo artists at the Basement Tattoo and Beauty Studio,” said Marlin Wilkins, owner of the Basement Tattoo and Beauty Studio. “These artists aren’t just skin artists, but canvas artists as well.”

Erran Hamlin and Shawn Merci Wright’s art pieces were displayed at the Delta Art Center amongst artists such as Donald Sawyer and Joseph King. Hamlin, who has been a professional tattoo artist for three years, demonstrated his artistic talents by painting live for the audience. Neither Hamlin nor Wright identify their pieces by naming them. “I paint for fun,” Hamlin said. Ironically, I want the individual to enjoy each piece and put their own meaning to it.”

“I let my paint brush speak for me. I like to learn what people like to see, get a new vibe. That takes my creativity somewhere else,” said Wright.

A live performance of Soul, funk, pop, and R&B selections were delivered by Soul Jam, a local North Carolina band. Lead vocalist Joy Rivers and her fellow band members played high energy tunes by artists such as Frankie Beverly and Maze, Michael Jackson, and Bruno Mars, to name a few. “I really enjoy art, poetry and obviously music,” said Rivers. “So, I’m really enjoying tonight’s event.”

Spoken word artist LB, Cognitive Complexion, Justice, and Smooth entertained the audience with their live poems that discussed social issues such as societal conformity, politics, sexual assault, inner racial prejudice, and even romance.

The Basement Tattoo and Beauty Studio will have other upcoming events that will support their goals. “We don’t want to just make a financial gain, we want to deposit something back spiritually,” Wilkins said. “We have some programs we’re putting together. Since we are located on MLK, we have the ability to use the lot on the side of the studio as well.”

The proceeds from Sunday’s event will be used to sponsor youth art camps. “We are going to try to do three four-week sessions,” said Wilkins. “We’re also going to do a writer’s camp with the spoken word artists. We’re going to teach our youth how to express themselves on paper.”

The Basement Tattoo and Beauty Studio is located at 1321 Hardesty Lane in Winston-Salem.

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