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Get some fresh ink done: Hundreds of tattoo artists will be in town for a huge fiesta

This year’s New Mexico Tattoo Fiesta will feature several hundred tattoo artists from New Mexico and out of state. (Courtesy of the New Mexico Tattoo Fiesta)

Get some fresh ink done by several hundred renowned tattoo artists from around the nation and learn more about the craft during the 2019 New Mexico Tattoo Fiesta.

The event, now in its ninth year, continues to grow. This year’s event will be held in conjunction with the National Tattoo Association Convention.

“They have a convention every year and this year’s their last one,” said Bale Sisneros, event organizer and owner of Por Vida Tattoo. “They’re not doing it anymore because they just got really old, the people that were running it. And they actually asked me to do it for them, so I combined the two. So, we’re hosting the National Tattoo Association Convention at the New Mexico Tattoo Fiesta. So, this year, I have about 400 people that will be tattooing, and I have old tattooers that are just going to be participating in seminars and stuff like that. I have about 200 of them. It’s crazy this year.”

Walk-ups are welcome or guests can see a list of participating tattoo artists on the event website or Instagram page and schedule an appointment with them directly. Attendees can also attend seminars, enjoy live entertainment and more during the event that runs today through Sunday, July 14, at Isleta Resort & Casino. English tattoo model Cervena Fox will emcee the event.

The fiesta will wrap up with a closing reception featuring veteran tattoo artists Charlie Cartwright and Jack Rudy who will be promoting their new book. Cartwright and Rudy are best known for their appearance in the documentary “Tattoo Nation.”

“We have a handful of seminars and they are by a lot of renowned artists,” Sisneros said. “This guy, his name is Big Sleeps. He’s doing a seminar on lettering and then there’s this other guy, and he’s doing a seminar on just his approach on tattooing on how he tattoos, and then we have another one by this guy Jesse Barelas. It’s a traveling tattooers seminar. He will be talking about the easiest way to pack. What are the necessities to take. And then I have another, it’s just an open discussion panel with the National Tattoo Association. You just get to kind of go in there with all the guys that have been tattooing for the past 30 years and ask them questions like how it was then, between then and now, the tools and stuff like that.”

There will be 100 awards given out to tattoo artists competing in a variety of categories during the Tattoo Fiesta.

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