If you have tattoos, appreciate artwork, enjoy live entertainment or are just looking to enjoy a fun, weekend event, you'll want to know about the Indy Tattoo Expo that is coming to Hendricks County, Indiana in June.
Over the weekend of June 10-12, 2022, more than 150 tattoo artists from all over the country will descend upon the Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel & Conference Center in Plainfield, Ind., to show off their artistic talents in this massive event created and organized by Chris Taylor, owner of Ink Therapy in Plainfield.
Joining these artists will be a number of vendors and live entertainment acts, turning the Embassy Suites into a 1920s-themed mecca of body art.
Chris, Rabbit, Trina and Tattoos
Chris Taylor was only 10 years old when he met the man who would become his mentor, James "Rabbit" Sanders. Chris began his tattooing apprenticeship with Sanders in 1992 at the tender age of 15, and the rest is history. (Speaking of history, Chris is also an avid tattoo historian.)
Sanders passed away in 2016, but I was able to chat with his daughter, Trina, recently about the upcoming Indy Tattoo Expo. She works with Chris at Ink Therapy and is one of the many people who play a huge role in making this event happen.
Here's what I learned from her.
The obvious part of an event called Indy Tattoo Expo is the tattoos, right?
Trina told me there will be more than 150 tattoo artists coming to the expo from all over the United States. Not only will you be able to see each artist's vision, talent and specialties, you can also easily contact any of the artists to schedule an appointment for a tattoo during the event.
Some of the artists might have time for walk-in appointments, but your best bet is to secure an appointment from an artist in advance. These are the top tattoo artists in the nation, so their services are obviously going to be in high demand.
And as someone who sports a little ink myself, I know that getting the right tattoo is a process. It takes time to have one done right. Walk-ins are okay for pre-drawn basic tattoos, but if you're after a one-of-a-kind work of art, it's a process that requires some advanced coordination with the artist and some patience while the artist goes to work.
So how do you contact these tattoo artists? It's super easy. Click here to find out who is coming to the Indy Tattoo Expo.
Then click on the graphic of any of the artists, which will lead you to that artist's Instagram page, where you can send a message to him or her to see about scheduling an appointment. You can also learn about their pricing and discuss your vision for your tattoo.
Contests will be held throughout the weekend for the best tattoo in a variety of categories. So, even if you don't acquire some new ink yourself at the expo, you'll be able to see some incredible artwork all three days.
Entertainment and Vendors
In addition to tattoos, the Indy Tattoo Expo will feature live entertainment throughout the weekend by a variety of performers. Click here to see the acts scheduled.
There will be live music, comedy, magic, burlesque and the incomparable Captain & Maybelle sideshow.
Performances will take place at regular intervals in two different exposition rooms, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to see the entertainers of your choice.
An added form of entertainment -- which has a really cool twist at the end -- is the Art Fusion project.
For Art Fusion, Trina tells me there will be easels set up for registered tattoo artists to do a chalk painting. Each artist signs up for 15-to-20-minute shifts. One artist starts painting, and the others add to the painting as the day goes on. Each day's painting winds up being a compilation of several tattoo artists' work.
The cool twist at the end? The Indy Tattoo Expo will auction off these paintings on Friday and Saturday during the tattoo competitions. Proceeds will go to Family Promise of Hendricks County -- a local charity. How cool is that?!
You can also stroll through the vendors' booths to shop for post-tattoo skin care products, jewelry, artwork, trinkets and much more.
Click here to see a list of scheduled vendors.
Ava Strong Memorial Ride
In addition to the Art Fusion project that gives back to the community, the Indy Tattoo Expo is also hosting the Ava Strong Memorial Ride on Saturday, June 11. Registration is from 9 to 10:30 a.m., and kickstands are up at 11 a.m.
The ride, which begins and ends at Embassy Suites and incorporates stops to be announced later, benefits 4-year-old Aspen, who is living with leukemia.
Participation in the Ava Strong Memorial Ride is $25 per rider and $5 per passenger. Show your wristband from the ride to receive half off the Indy Tattoo Expo ticket price that same day.
To learn more about Aspen, the ride and Ava Strong, click here.
Hours and Tickets
The Indy Tattoo Expo will take place on Friday, June 10 from noon to midnight; on Saturday, June 11 from 11 a.m. to midnight; and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
You have the option to purchase single-day passes or a weekend pass to the Indy Tattoo Expo upon arrival. Friday's and Sunday's single-day tickets are $25 each day. Saturday's single-day pass is $30. Save some cash and purchase a weekend pass at the door for $70.
However, Trina gave me a valuable insider tip to save even more money. Purchase your tickets in advance for a discount!
Click here and you'll find Friday and Sunday presale tickets for $22 each day, Saturday's presale tickets for $27, and a weekend pass for just $60!
Dress up in your best 1920s outfits and make plans to attend the Indy Tattoo Expo!