Loose Screw Joins with Virginia Artists for Healing Ink Event in December

When many of us have a challenging day at work, that may mean our boss was demanding, a client backed out of a contract, or someone stole our lunch. For first responders–EMTs, firefighters, police officers, military personnel, and emergency dispatchers–a bad day looks a lot different. Danger, chaos, and death are regular occurrences. Long-term repetitive trauma can lead to a variety of physical and mental health challenges for these professionals. 

“There are no words, no real ways to thank someone who risks their lives to save others,” says Craig Dershowitz with Healing Ink. “The least we can do is provide them with a beautiful piece of art in recognition of their heroism and honor.”

To date, Healing Ink has brought together artists from around the world to tattoo 125 people during a variety of events. Soon, that number will grow thanks to a partnership with Loose Screw Tattoo and the Jewish Federation of Tidewater. 

On December 7 and 8, 2019, Loose Screw owner Jesse Smith and seven other artists will lead a workshop at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.

This is not the first time Smith has volunteered with Healing Ink. In 2017, he joined the Artists 4 Israel’s Healing Ink event for a week during its second mission to Israel to cover the scars of terror survivors and soldiers injured in combat. Other Healing Ink volunteer artists have included Ryan Ashley Malarkey and Megan Massacre. 

“The impact of his participation was immeasurable,” Dershowitz says. “Of course, his tattoos were terrific but, more than that, he was a thoughtful, caring, and compassionate artist. We knew we were in good hands with his support in Virginia.” 

Here in the United States, Smith helped recruit a roster of artists for the December event in Virginia Beach: Chris Jenkins of Loose Screw Tattoo, Matt Grosso of Lucky Gypsy, Erin Chance of Unkindness Art, Andy Chambers of Quill and Talon, John “Vall” Vallaster of Quill and Talon, Patrick Loud of Commonwealth Tattoo, and Kenny Brown of Jack Brown’s Tattoo Revival. Each artist on the roster easily said ‘yes’ to the opportunity, Smith says.

“Getting a tattoo is healing or therapeutic because once the tattoo is complete, that is the embodiment of that person’s feelings, emotions, and thoughts,” says Chris Jenkins. “When the client has the ability to look at their tattoo and feel its meaning, there is something very comforting about that.”

Dershowitz says he gets calls on the anniversary of a tattoo from a terror survivor in Israel every year. As he looks to grow the impact of Healing Ink, he’s excited to bring the same opportunity to first responders. 

“Art is healing,” Smith says. “As artists, we all understand that and want to find ways to give that same healing opportunity to those who serve us every day and go through so much.”

Learn more about the event at https://www.healingink.org