VIBE: INKED impresses student

Carlena Bressanelli, Staff writer

Everyone expresses themselves in different ways, whether it is from hair color to clothing to room decor, and then there are some people in this world that express themselves with their body.

Tattoos have been around for thousands of years and now, most days, I see more people with tattoos than not.

I actually got to see a whole room filled with people that have tattoos this past Friday at VIBE: INKED, and I loved it.

The event started at 9 p.m. and when you first walked into the Great Room of the Student Union, you saw a lot of different booths filled with tattoo artists and piercers conversing with each other, just having a good time ready to see the many faces that came to the event.

There were chairs in the middle of the room and a screen ready to give a presentation.

Once everyone sat down and got settled, a member from the Multicultural Activities Council (MAC) talked about what we were going to see and also explained the meaning of VIBE and what it represented.

“VIBE is an acronym which stands for Variety, Imagination, Beauty and Energy. These characteristic can often be found in all communities,” Charra Luton, MAC chair, said.

In accordance with these values, MAC seeks to highlight the diversity and acceptance of all cultures and traditions.

As such, VIBE: INKED represents the tattoo culture that is sometimes underrepresented and often stigmatized.

As a mission to capitalize the “VIBE” of tattoo culture, MAC invited local tattoo shops and artists to talk about tattoo/piercing safety and also share their work.

This was all in the presentation that was shown, followed by info sessions about the safety of getting tattoos and piercings. I thought these were very helpful to anyone whether they had tattoos or piercings or were completely bare.

As someone who has several tattoos and piercings, I found it to be a very nice refresher.

There was even a snack and drink station so you could have a little dessert while you went and socialized.

I liked walking around and talking to the different artists from each shop because I am actually trying to find a tattoo place in Erie.

They were all amazing artists with their own style and work.

I personally did not click with every shop, but there was one that stood out to me, so they will be getting a client sooner or later.

Find what shop or artist speaks to you because you want them to do a great job and the same goes for piercings.

On the top floor of the Student Union, they had an airbrushing booth and a few henna tattoo stations, which was really neat and very student interactive.

There was a long line for the henna stations, but I stuck with a few airbrushing tattoos. The airbrushing station had a very cute selection of different tattoos you can pick from, plus it did not take a lot of time.

Henna takes a little longer, and you kind of have to take care of it like a real tattoo.

When VIBE: INKED was held last year, the student body responded really well to it. SAC and MAC held an open forum for student feedback where students talked about wanting to have VIBE: INKED return this school year.

Overall, I love being in this kind of environment because they are some of the nicest people I have ever met.

There were plenty of people at the event that did not have any tattoos, but it was cool to see so many interested in general or just looking for a place to get their first tattoo.

Honestly, there was nothing that I did not like about it.

I’m glad that SAC/MAC put on the event for a second year, giving more students the ability to experience the culture, including me.

It was a great experience to be a part of it, and I am so glad I went.