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Rapid City to Host Tattoo Convention

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (7/7/09) – Award-winning tattoo artists from across the United States and beyond will converge on Rapid City, S.D., for the First Annual Black Hills Tattoo Convention, set for Sept. 18 to 20.
The event will feature performances by Lizardman, the human canvas and old-style sideshow performer who has toured worldwide. He has a full-body tattoo, a split tongue and a number of interesting piercings. His repertoire of classic sideshow acts includes fire-eating and sword-swallowing.
In addition, Deadwood’s own “Flaunt,” an all-woman revue that mixes burlesque and Broadway entertainment, will perform during the convention.
But the emphasis at the Black Hills Tattoo Convention will be on fine art of body art, according to organizer Heather Taylor. The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center will come alive with color and character as artists and their fans gather for the first annual event.
Taylor said her goal is to make the Black Hills Tattoo Convention a can’t-miss annual event for tattoo artists nationwide. Many are already familiar with the Black Hills. Some of the best tattoo artists in the country are based in the Black Hills. In addition, many top artists set up shop each August during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
“We have really tried to make this convention for the artists,” she said. “We want it to be as unique the Black Hills.”
Tattoos, piercings and other body modifications are hugely popular in the United States. One 2006 survey found that 36 percent of Americans age 18 to 25 and 40 percent of those age 26 to 40 have at least one tattoo.
Artists from Alaska to Florida have signed up to participate in the Rapid City convention, Taylor said. Local artists from South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota and Minnesota will also attend. Black Hills Tattoo& Piercing in Rapid City is the host shop for the convention.
World-class tattoo artist Ismael Schuurbiers, who goes by the name ISH, plans to attend the Black Hills convention. He hails from the Caribbean island of Curacao, and his tattoo designs have won awards worldwide. In addition, a tattoo artist from China has expressed interest in attending.
Convention events will include tattoo contests, an artist’s gallery, vendor displays and live tattooing throughout the convention. (To schedule an appointment, visit the artists-and-vendors page at There will also be professional seminars and workshops.
The convention is open to the public. Admission is $10 per day or $25 for a three-day pass. Children under 12 get in free, but all children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
For more information, visit the website, or contact Taylor at

For a hi-res photo of Lizardman, CLICK HERE