Upon entering the tattoo parlor named the Kollective Gallery, visitors sometimes mistake it for a minimalist furniture store or an art gallery. Of course, the second assumption is not entirely off the mark.
This clean and stylish space, equipped with individual tattoo suites hidden behind closed doors, also offers an ongoing art exhibit that changes monthly.
But these showings aren’t the usual tattoo artist renderings of familiar ink-on-skin subjects such as dragons, angel wings or a flowery lettering of “Mother.”
As co-owner Andrea Lynne Thornton explains, “We are a different kind of tattoo business. Part of our mission is to give area artists a place to exhibit their work and find new collectors.”
The artists who are accepted for exhibition, including established and students from the Cleveland Institute of Art and elsewhere, have a kickoff showing the second Saturday of each month from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., when they meet and talk with visitors.
The next show on Aug. 13 will be the Dog-gone Art Show. All artwork will be dog-related, with some proceeds going to Secondhand Mutts, a cage-free dog adoption center.
Of course, Kollective Gallery is also open other times for those seeking some body ink. The private rooms are spotless and well-equipped, with both male and female tattoo artists available.
Thornton and her partner Sean Kelly wanted to create an open, free-flowing space where people would feel comfortable.
And since their opening in June of this year, they said they have been receiving very positive feedback from people, whether customers are interested in wearing art permanently or discovering artists they've never seen before.
1908 S. Taylor Road, 216-862-0799. Open: Mon.-Thurs. Noon to 7 p.m., Fri. and Sat. Noon to 8 p.m.