Tattoo convention hits town
July 31, 2012
For the first time, the Park City Tattoo Convention is coming to town, so don’t be surprised by the influx of full sleeves of tattoos or gauged ears this weekend.
The convention, hosted by the Layton-based tattoo shop Lucky Bamboo, will run from Friday through Sunday offering artist seminars, contests, tattoo celebrities, art exhibitions and, of course, tattoo and piercing services on site. As an avid convention attendee himself, Lucky Bamboo owner Jared Preslar decided to create the convention, the only tattoo convention in Utah outside of Salt Lake City, to offer something to tattoo enthusiasts and the tattoo artists themselves.
"There is a lack of anything like this in Utah," Preslar said, "There is a convention in Salt Lake City, but it’s one I don’t attend, and I’ve attended many out of the state and some out of country.
"I had a huge response with a lot of local, very reputable shops responding to be a part of this event."
The convention will host 40 vendors and 35 tattoo artists providing services to attendees. Vendors were invited to the convention using a careful vetting process Preslar said was important to the feel of the event.
"We’re focusing on the art," Preslar said. "There’s only a couple of conventions in the nation similar to this one. It will be smaller than a lot of conventions, but we wanted quality over quantity."
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Preslar has gone as far as London for conventions, a fact that made pulling in big names for his first convention much easier. The convention will feature Jeff Gogue, a popular artist regularly featured in trade magazines who has bookings for appointments stretching as far out as two years, along with Nikko Hurtado, Keith Ciaramello and Sabina Kelley, a well-known pin-up model and actress in the tattoo world.
"I had this vision of this happening and it slowly came together," Preslar said. "I started approaching people people I met at these other conventions in past years. I told them about my vision and what I wanted to do, and people responded."
Preslar said he is excited for what the weekend will bring, despite more than one bump in the road. The Summit County Health Department had to create regulations nearly from scratch because no tattoo shops exist in the county, and Preslar has been in hot competition with the Salt Lake City tattoo convention for support.
"This process has had its frustrating moments," Preslar said, "but I’m glad I did this."
"From an artist’s standpoint, I go to conventions to be a part of a big group of like-minded people from the art world and the industry," he added. "The artists coming want to push themselves, to better themselves and their art."
The First Annual Park City Tattoo Convention is scheduled to be held at The Yarrow Hotel, 1800 Park Ave. Doors open on Friday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets can be picked up at the convention for $30 for a day pass or $50 for a weekend pass. For more information, visit http://www.parkcitytattooconvention.com.