Ark-La-Tex Tattoo and Art Expo attracts more than 150 artists

A three-day event that celebrates the human body as an “artist’s canvas” continued in Longview today.
Published: Mar. 25, 2023 at 4:12 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - A three-day event that celebrates the human body as an “artist’s canvas” continued in Longview on Saturday. The Ark-La-Tex Tattoo and Art Expo is going on at the Maude Cobb Activity Center.

From elaborate tattoo designs to elaborate body piercing, all can be found at the third annual Ark-La-Tex Tattoo and Art Expo.

“We have over 150 artists here from all over the country, competing for trophies and prizes,” said event organizer Sam Roach.

The artists are competing with their unique designs and styles. It’s more than just a passing fancy for many who get a tattoo or piercing: it’s a way of expression.

“Everybody’s trying to express themselves, be a little different, and how do you do that? Piercings and artwork on your body are one way to do it. People are just appreciating art more, and I think that’s why more are getting tattoos,” said tattoo fan Chase Alexander.

Far from the days when customers would get a single tattoo, now artists say the body becomes a continuing project.

“It’s almost like their statement: their permanent piece they get to display forever, and usually it has a meaning. Sometimes it doesn’t. They definitely own it,” said Nikki Moore of Voodoo Tattoos.

For many, the art becomes a symbol of life memories, with one man dedicating his ink to his children.

“Personally, why I want it is because I want that symbolizes what’s special to me, printed on my body,” he said.

The show continues tonight at Maude Cobb in Longview until 11 p.m. and tomorrow from noon until 9 p.m.

Ark-La-Tex Tattoo and Art Expo organizers Sam Roach and Chase Alexander explain why they believe these shows have become more popular.