“In hearts, not stone”

You could say that the Cincinnati Tattoo Project was conceived exactly two years ago when we visited ArtWorks for the first time. We drove up to Cincinnati on the invitation of a friend who told us we “should meet Tamara.” And so we did. And if you know Tamara Harkavy, you would understand why in the process of “meeting Tamara” we ended up giving a presentation about our ongoing artworks. One of them was the Lexington Tattoo Project. Tamara and her team loved the concept: using poetry and tattoos to create a visible statement of people’s commitment to their city and build a network of citizens supporting each other. They also loved the photographs and stories of participants we shared with them.

Delight Hanover

Delight Hanover’s “eye” from the Lexington Tattoo Project

Two years, a dozen visits, and many many conversations and brainstorming sessions later, the Cincinnati Tattoo Project is in full swing! Like all the participants in it, the two of us are enamored with the poem written by the poets of Chase Public, a poem that states loudly and clearly the community’s love for their extraordinary hometown. Earlier this year, we divided the poem into 261 phrases and designed each of them as a unique tattoo that includes design elements inspired by the city’s seven hills. When all the tattoos are put together in the shape of the poem, the design elements combine into a secret image. You want to know what that image is? You’ll have to join us at a party in November!

In the meantime, look for the Cincinnati Tattoo Project tattoos on forearms, feet, and fingers. See if you can spot them at the grocery store or at the movies. The two of us will continue to enjoy all the connections that this artwork nurtures, or at least the publicly visible ones. And we will keep sharing photographs and stories on the blog of the Cincinnati Tattoo Project website.

Kimberly Carlin

Kimberly Carlin’s “eyes” from the Cincinnati Tattoo Project (image courtesy of Kimberly Carlin)

Patricia Lee

Patricia Lee’s “in hearts, not stone.” (image courtesy of Patricia lee)