Downtown art show gives students chance to network

Local artwork was front-center during the first Ink in The Falls event, held by 9th Street Studios and art senior Erin Marie Harman. Tattoo shops including Human Canvas, Cowabunga Ink, Rusty’s Needles and Underground Tattoo and Body Piercing were highlighted at the show on Sept. 9.

The event showcased artwork from local tattoo artists at these four Wichita Falls tattoo parlors.

The concept for Ink in The Falls was thought up by 9th Street Studios manager Stephen Taylor when he attended an opening show for another local tattoo shop.

“Most tattooists are known for putting ink on the flesh, but a lot of people don’t realize that these are incredible artists outside of just that,” Taylor said.

With the increased interest and growth of the downtown area of Wichita Falls, including the recent upgrade to the MSU flags, Taylor said this is a chance to give back and show something that you normally wouldn’t get to see.

Taylor said the recognition should go to Erin Harman, since they worked together to set up this event.

Harman, whose art degree includes an emphasis in printmaking and secondary emphasis in drawing, said that this event was put together in about a month — thanks in part to networking.

“Networking, making friendships and connections is what this show is all about,” Harman said.

Harman said 9th Street Studios brings in all kinds of artists and shows appreciation regardless of its medium.

Events like this are starting to gain more ground as an interest has grown within the city of Wichita Falls within the last 10 years, according to Harman. She encourages students on campus to get involved with events that are happening not only on campus, but other events in the community.

Isaiah Edwards, art junior with an emphasis in graphic design, attended the event with the interest to see some of the work other artists offer. Edwards stated that he has been getting tattoos since he was legally able to and believes that that an event like this can help provide some culture.

“Events like this can give people more of a culture that isn’t offered on a college campus,” Edwards said.

According to Edwards, attending events such as Ink in The Falls can allow students to meet some interesting and talented people and offer a good support system to those that might be stepping outside of their comfort zone. He also said these events allow the observer to be immersed in an environment that they might not usually take part in.