My Story, My Tattoo: Museum exhibit

Art and words come together in the newest exhibit at the Wellington County Museum and Archives. Entitled My Story, My Tattoo, the exhibit will feature amazing tattoos, incredible stories and photographs of Wellington County residents – with their tattoos.

The exhibit opens with an evening reception on Jan. 16 at at 6:30pm.

“The Museum is extremely excited about this exhibit,” said Amy Dunlop, curator of the tattoo exhibit at the museum. “The stories are powerful, inspiring, moving and funny. Narrowing down the exhibit to 30 people and the compelling stories they have to tell, has been extremely difficult.”

Work on the exhibit began six months ago. Museum staff began to search out individuals with tattoos and asked them to share the story behind their ink. Interested participants represented every walk of life – everyone from a cancer survivor to teachers and their students, a firefighter and a farmer.

After the final participants were selected, they were invited to the museum where they were photographed by Chris Piccinetti, a Guelph photographer and graphic designer for the County of Wellington. The participants range in age from 26 to 89 years and live throughout Wellington County.

“I learned a lot about tattoos during the various shoots,” Piccinetti said in a press release. “All of the individuals were open and honest, and I hope that I have represented their stories and personalities well through this series of thoughtprovoking and colourful images .”

Some may feel the museum is a curious place for an exhibit featuring tattoos. However, staff believe it is a natural location for such an exhibit.

“Museums tell stories behind objects and images in our community,” said Janice Hindley, administrator of Wellington Place, Museum and Archives in a press release. “Tattoos are living images that reveal important stories behind our residents, our community, the tattoo phenomenon and the artists.”

The exhibit will run until March. It will also feature a panel discussion entitled Tattoo: Art Form and Phonomenon, as well as a lecture by Dr. Susan J. Douglas, assistant professor of art history at the University of Guelph on tattoo as art.

These will take place Feb. 6 and 28.