Ink Master Celebrity Artists Highlight Michigan Tattoo Convention

Celebrity tattoo artist and Flint native Kyle Dunbar and fellow “Ink Master” participant Big Ceeze will both be working the needles at the Tattoo City Tattoo Convention this weekend.

The excitement doesn’t stop there, either.

In addition to the tattoo, piercing, and pinup contests you might expect at a tattoo convention, there will be a mankini (male bikini) contest, a Ms. Tattoo City competition, a live human suspension show, and more.

Dunbar and Ceeze will be joined by another celebrity artist, Marshall Bennett, and dozens of other well-known artists across the tattoo landscape.

Tattoo City President Travis Crossley said the $10,000 prize for Best in Show attracts some of the nation’s most prominent artists to compete in the three-day event. This is the second year the event has given away the prize after giving away a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in year one.

The event runs from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13, at the Dort Financial Center, 3501 Lapeer Road.

Tickets are $25 for a one-day or $60 for a three-day pass and are available online or at the door.

Crossley said that the event aims to raise awareness and welcome people into the culture of tattooing, a profession that sometimes gets a bad rap.

“We want to show people what tattooing is really about as opposed to what people think it’s about,” Crossley said.

Hundreds of artists will be ready for tattoos and piercings on the spot with flash tattoos, custom pieces, or portraits.

“If you got a tattoo that you have been looking to get – guaranteed – we have an artist that can take care of it no matter what size,” Crossley said.

A Kids Zone will feature face painting, arts and crafts, temporary tattoos, and interactive games this year. Kids 12 and under get free admission to the family-friendly event.

The convention got its name from Flint’s per capita allotment of tattoo shops, which is the highest in Michigan and one of the highest in the country, an organizer said last year.

Given Flint’s reputation among the rest of the country, Crossley said he wants to change the city’s narrative to a positive one.

“Let’s give these guys something else to talk about?” Crossley said. “The goal is when I travel as an artist, and people say, ‘Hey, you’re from Flint. How’s the show out there?”

Registration information for contests and ticket information can be found on the event’s website.

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