Richmond Tattoo Convention turns 20 this weekend

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – One of the oldest known art forms has changed dramatically in just the past two decades.

You can see it for yourself this weekend for the 20th Annual Richmond Tattoo Arts Festival at the Greater Richmond Convention Center downtown.

Tattoos have become chic enough for a current exhibit at the Valentine Museum; chic enough for professional folks, big name athletes and stars, as well as just everyday people.

One artist at the convention, who specializes in shades of blacks and grays, has a yearlong waiting list. Her client Friday had a thousand in cash in his pocket ready, if needed, for an evening’s worth of work – the dog tags of his beloved grandfather who recently died of cancer.

People still get ink that reminds them of important events or people.

But with the new inks and tattooing machines, you can settle for something beautiful – a work of art that may have no other deeper meaning, or a picture-like portrait of an iconic figure or scene.

Yes, it still hurts. But the stigma is gone. In fact, it’s almost like the rebels are those without a single tattoo.

The convention continues Saturday noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 7 p.m.  Tattoo artists from around the country are there.