If you go
› What: Free tattoos by Megan Massacre
› When: 8:30-11 p.m. Tuesday, June 25
› Where: Moxy Hotel, 1220 King St.
› Phone: 423-664-1180
When Chattanooga's trendy new Moxy Hotel opened in November 2018, officials promised that Marriott's "disruptive hotel brand" would shake up the traditional hospitality experience with its emphasis on fun.
Case in point: Guests check in at the bar and are greeted with a complimentary signature cocktail.
Now add free tattoos to the ways the Moxy is making its imprint on the city. Tuesday night, the hotel will host a pop-up tattoo studio with celebrity artist Megan Massacre (real name: Megan Woznicki).
Massacre, known for her appearances on the TLC reality shows "America's Worst Tattoos" and "NY Ink," will offer a selection of tattoos based on Moxy Hotels' Blank Canvas art program, letting guests celebrate emerging artists from the program in a permanent way.
"Moxy's Blank Canvas program embodies a fun and playful approach to curating art, and similar to the tattoos I create, it's an expression of individuality that inspires creativity," says Massacre, owner of New York-based studio Grit N Glory.
In the program, Moxy invites painters, photographers, filmmakers, sculptors, illustrators and graffiti artists to submit their works for consideration. Selected works become part of the art collection at participating hotels. So far, Moxy has welcomed everything from a live art installation featuring a giant pink Teddy bear to massive video walls to locally inspired murals.
"Moxy Hotels are a playground for travelers and locals alike to engage in spontaneous experiences that are bold and culturally captivating," says Toni Stoeckl, a vice president with Marriott International. "Through our collaboration with Megan Massacre, we're celebrating our Blank Canvas artists in true Moxy fashion — by transforming our walls into permanent wearable art for guests."
Anyone who stops by Tuesday evening can choose from nine quick and easy designs that include florals, animals and a two-olive martini.
"The tattoo flash we have available is designed to take just around 15 minutes each, so we're able to tattoo a bunch of people," Massacre says.
In advance of her visit, Massacre answered questions by email from the Times Free Press. Here are some topics of conversation, edited for brevity and clarity.
Q: Your work has been described as "creepy yet cute." Do you prefer one over the other?
A: I would say this description is more about my older style of work. Today I would describe my work as bolder, colorful, realistic and whimsical.
Q: Are there ever times you refuse to ink someone? Designs you won't do?
A: Sure, I refuse tattoos that are far outside of the particular styles of tattooing I work in. I'm very versatile but have a passion for certain styles, such as realism, and subject matters, such as animals, people and foliage. There are so many amazing tattooers out there today that specialize in every different thing, I prefer clients that want something outside of my passions to go to an artist that's passionate about what it is they want to get.
Q: How did you choose the designs you'll be doing in Chattanooga?
A: For this particular pop-up, I looked to the original artwork created by Petra Braun — who was the Blank Canvas artist selected by Moxy to create a piece of artwork for Moxy Chattanooga downtown — for inspiration.
Q: How many tattoos do you have? Are you planning more?
A: I've lost count, 20-something? Haha. After a while, you're not sure whether it's considered a bunch of small ones or one big one. I go through phases of getting tattooed. I'll get a bunch of tattoos all in one year, then wait a couple years to get more. It's been about three years since my last one, and just recently I've made a few new tattoo appointments for this year, so I've been bitten by the bug again — haha.
Q: What other projects do you have coming up?
A: I have a new book titled "The Art of Tattoo," releasing July 16. It's a hardcover coffee-table book filled with pictures and stories all about my art and experience as an artist with advice for both artists, collectors and fans alike.
Contact Lisa Denton at email@example.com or 423-757-6281.