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admin March 9, 2020

Written by Xander Clubine and Micki Anderson
Photography by Micki Anderson

Art is a form of expression. It is used to delve into the imagination, and to tell stories. While people can have paintings or sculptures, some want something that feels more important, and more permanent. For many people today, that is tattoos.

Boone DMACC Bookstore Specialist Lisa Savits found herself with her first tattoo at age 23, because “why not!”. After about 17 years with her spirit animal panda on her leg, she inked her shoulder with the birthdates of her 2 kids. She had “gemini” tattooed on her ribs, and a cross rosary on her foot. She then returned to her initial inspiration, having her panda tattoo redone with her husband’s name over it.

DMACC chemistry professor Heather Riley had wanted a tattoo since she was 13. Less than two decades later in March 2017, she finally got the words “Yet she persisted” tattoed in purple on her leg. This tattoo was inspired by the phrase “Nevertheless, she persisted”, which was a remark referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren and how she was against Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions becoming Attorney General. Riley resonated with this phrase, having been a survivor of sexual assault.

Words can mean a lot, and DMACC student worker Serena Young uses them among her tattoo sleeve that tell the stories of her struggles. On her forearm she has her son’s name tattooed in blue, representing his medical struggles. Among a flock of birds, she has “I will carry you with me, Til I see you again” tattooed with the name of her niece, who was murdered. She not only had these tattooed in order to signify these struggles among others, but to also help her with going through these events.

Tammie Foltz, sociology and philosophy professor, also has her share of ink to speak her own stories. Her back and arms are a canvas of colorful designs, representing her family and faith. Foltz believes in wearing her faith on her sleeve, and does so freely as tattoos no longer are restrained by stereotypes.

Liberal Arts student Alexander Morales can also relate in Foltz’s sharing of faith through tattoos. On his chest he bares a set of praying hands with a cross necklace. It not only represents faith, but also represents the same cross necklace he was given and had since he was seven, passed down from his grandmother, to his father, to him.

Memories are important, and these students and faculty of DMACC show it through the art of tattoos. They have taken the parts of their lives that have left a permanent mark on them, and made them into permanent marks upon their skin, not only as a reminder―but also as a way to tell their story.

To show off the artistry of these tattoos, the Boone DMACC library will be hosting a gallery and a reception at a future date. Stay tuned for updates on our social media @DMACCBannerNews on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!