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Art Gathering LA is no Ink-N-Iron

What happens when a show venue tells a show that they have to change their show and take out core elements of it? Usually nothing good. Such is the case with the old Ink-N-Iron show

What happens when a show venue tells a show that they have to change their show and take out core elements of it? Usually nothing good. Such is the case with the old Ink-N-Iron show which was in its 12th year of running in 2015. Unfortunately the show was told by it’s venue, the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA, that the show could no longer have live punk bands playing during the 3 day event. Ink-N-Iron then complied with Long Beach, dropped the bands, added and art show and out came the new show “Art Gathering LA”; a show focused on Art, Culture and Tattoos.

There was just one problem, the bands brought in a big crowd; like really big! With the bands, which came from all over the world, gone the show would lose a good portion of it’s attendance. The event coordinators thought that the art crowd would fill in the gap but unfortunately the limited space for the art exhibitors and with no real solid push to the art world the gap remained just that; a gap. As much as we enjoyed walking the show and looking at the “Art Gallery” portion of it, the show feels like a new show trying to make it to the next year.

The Art Gallery featured about 10-15 vendors, mostly galleries which were bringing their pieces and the artists involved. Other vendors were direct artist like Ron English and Chet Zar who brought stock from their own private shows and galleries. Along with the art from the vendors there was also the “Squarespace” which featured artworks by over 100 artists, including paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, film, video, and digital art mostly from the tattoo artists located in Tattoo Gallery area of the show; we enjoyed that a good portion of these pieces were very political with today’s agenda. Other larger art pieces were located outside the Queen Mary on what was called the “Range” and featured large murals and sculptors; these pieces were put around a handful of Kustom cars and hot rods.

We did also visit the Tattoo Gallery where two floors featured tattoo vendors from all over the US. We have to admit that some of the artwork on display at these booths were stunning on their own even if you didn’t want it inked on your body. It was interesting watching all the people getting tattooed while enjoying the art aspect to the show. The show seems to be going through growing pains and need to make certain decisions on its future but we wish it the best.

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