Lexington Tattoo Project honored by Public Art Network

July 3, 2014 

The entire inked project was revealed Friday night at a party of the Lexington Tattoo Project. The Lexingtonian who got the symbol tattooed on his body is Hendrick Floyd, husband of Bianca Spriggs, who wrote the poem that was split up and tattooed on the bodies of 254 project participants.

The Lexington Tattoo Project, an acclaimed multimedia community art project created by Transylvania professors, was named to the Americans for the Arts' Public Art Network 2014 Year in Review.

Each year the Public Art Network recognizes 50 of the most outstanding public art projects from around the country. Public arts professionals serve as jurors to review the applications.

The Lexington Tattoo Project — the brainchild of art professor Kurt Gohde and English professor Kremena Todorova— brought together more than 250 people from around Lexington to be tattooed with words from a poem about Lexington, "The _____________ of the Universe: A Love Story," written by 2003 Transylvania graduate Bianca Spriggs. Gohde and Todorova photographed each tattoo and created a video by digitally stitching together the photographs.

When viewed together, the tattoos — which include a pattern of small circles surrounding the inked words — reveal the number "4" inside a large circle, representing New Circle Road. The video was underscored by a composition by Lexington musician Ben Sollee, and a 160-page coffee table book featured a picture of each of the tattoos.

"We were excited and honored when we found out that the Lexington Tattoo Project was selected," Todorova said. "With the publication of the coffee table book, we continue to receive inquiries from individuals and organizations about working with them on their own tattoo projects."

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