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Safety gets fashionable with face masks by local tattoo artists

Winners in the Trail & District Arts Council and VISAC Gallery mask design contest pose with the new Kootenay Art Masks Tattoo Collection. — Submitted photo

The Trail & District Arts Council and VISAC Gallery have partnered to create stylish face masks that feature designs by some of your favourite West Kootenay tattoo artists, including Rossland artist Alex Moon and 16-year-old student Sasha Leithead.

Leithead won the youth mask design contest.

“My design features an octopus in a loose reference to a Chinese traditional tattoo style,” Leithead explains.

“When I’m doing pen and ink an octopus seems to be my default, I love the intricacy and flow of them.”

The four designs were commissioned, including the winner of the youth mask design contest. Each of the four designs has something for everyone to appreciate.

“During this time when access to the arts has become limited, we wanted to find a creative way to pay and promote local artists while offering something people could enjoy and actually use,” said Nadine Tremblay, TDAC Executive Director.

“I can’t wait to strut these beautiful works of art when I go about town next.”

Rossland artist Alex Moon, whose tattoos, illustrations, and paintings are inspired by fantasy, myths, psychedelics, visionary experiences, magic, science fiction and the natural world, created a butterfly nestled in flowers for her design “Dreamer”.

Josh Gatten, owner and artist at Divine Alchemy Tattoos in Nelson, created an intricate black and white design with pops of colour. Josh has been creating tattoos for over seventeen years.

Sylvie le Sylvie designed a beautiful soaring bird with a background of flowers for their face mask.

Sylvie is a tattoo artist based at Strange Society Tattoos in Nelson and has been tattooing full-time for fourteen years.

For the fourth mask, a call was put out to 12-18 year olds to create a digitally designed tattoo-style mask.

Leithead’s colourful octopus-themed design really stood out.

“I have always loved doing art, but only in the last three years have I begun to take it more seriously.”

“In the future, I aspire to become a writer and illustrate my own books.” 

The Kootenay Art Masks: Tattoo Collection aim to give stylish buyers a way to support the arts, while protecting themselves and others. — Submitted photo

All masks are $15 for one, or get one of each of the 4 designs for only $50. Masks are available at The Doorway in Trail and Kootenay Gateway in Rossland, or to order by phone at 250-368-9669 to pick up. Or, buy online at thebailey.ca for $15, plus a $3 flat mailing fee for each order, by clicking on the “Merchandise” menu item at the top of the page."

Mask orders made by phone may be picked up at The Bailey Theatre during regular box office hours, Monday to Friday between 12 noon until 4 pm. Ring the buzzer to the left of our Cedar Street entrance to get into the building.

For more information on what the Trail & District Arts Council has planned visit their new website at trail-arts.com. For what’s happening at the VISAC Gallery visit visacgallery.com