It was exactly a year ago that the first 9 people got their tattoos as part of the Lexington Tattoo Project. We arranged these early tattoos because STORY Magazine was going to publish a story about the Lexington tattoos and needed all the images by mid-December (all the other tattoos happened in January). So we reached out to folks who we knew to be committed to this artwork, people with whom we had worked before and knew would not change their minds about participating.
Of course, we asked Pat Gerhard if she would get her “bugs backed by” in December. We had become friends with Pat during our regular visits to Third Street Stuff & Coffee, the coffee shop and store she owns. We had also photographed her on a discarded couch we set on fire the day before the University of Kentucky basketball team won the 2012 championship (there were so many blazing couches in the days preceding the victory that burning couches was officially prohibited–we had to be very careful about not getting arrested). It was Pat’s idea–a variation on our DISCARDED artwork.
On December 14, 2012, Pat arrived at Charmed Life Tattoo carrying a bag of chocolate kisses. She was profoundly sad–along with the rest of our country, she had been following the news about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. So she brought everyone in the tattoo shop chocolates, her way of trying to comfort us.