New tat­too art­work re­places de­stroyed mu­ral on Capi­tol Trail

Newark Post - - LOCAL NEWS - By BROOKE SCHULTZ [email protected]­

Whether or not you like tat­toos, the dec­o­rated fence out­side of Amer­i­can Art Tat­too on Capi­tol Trail has been a lo­cal land­mark for over a decade, owner Dave Scott said.

“When you said ‘the tribal fence,’ every­one, re­gard­less, knew where it was,” he said. “A lot of peo­ple didn’t even know this was a tat­too shop.”

When a car swerved off the road and crashed into the fence in Jan­uary, Scott knew he didn’t want to end the era of the mu­ral.

“I knew I needed to up­grade it sooner or later, but the car kind of nudged me,” he said.

Scott thought up some ideas for a new mu­ral and de­cided he wanted some kind of spray paint art, he said. When he came across a news­pa­per ar­ti­cle about lo­cal artist Der­rick Noel, Scott reached out and the two started work­ing on the de­sign al­most im­me­di­ately.

“I wanted to have a lot of tra­di­tional el­e­ments so when you looked at it, you would know that it was a tat­too, even if you weren’t into tat­toos,” he said.

From a “cen­ter­piece” of a tat­too ma­chine and a splash of black ink, a med­ley of tat­too iconog­ra­phy cov­ers the wooden fence – in­clud­ing an Amer­i­can flag, rose, an ea­gle and a heart with “mom” in­scribed.

“I wanted a lit­tle hu­mor,” Scott added.

The fence has seen a num­ber of de­signs over the last 29 years Scott’s shop has been open. In 2001, Scott com­mis­sioned an Amer­i­can flag to cover the fence after the events of 9/11.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the peo­ple who had put the fence up and painted it did not prop­erly primer it re­ally well, so within a year or so, the paint un­der­neath started peeling,” he ex­plained.

In 2006, he con­tacted the Univer­sity of Delaware and had an artist cre­ate a tribal print, which was pop­u­lar for tat­toos at the time, he said.

“He came out, and him and I sketched up a few things. He said, ‘Can I run with this a lit­tle bit and do my style?’ I said sure, be­cause that’s good for any artist, even for tat­too­ing, to do your style. You get that free­dom,” he said.

Those two de­signs aren’t lost in Noel’s work. An al­lu­sion to the tribal print is ren­dered be­hind the other de­signs, turn­ing from black to gray as it wraps around the fence. The Amer­i­can flag also makes an ap­pear­ance.

The mu­ral al­lowed for Noel to branch out from his usual artis­tic style. He said that he reached out to one of his friends that does tat­toos to get in­put on the de­sign.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate the art,” he said. “I see great tat­too art all the time, it’s just not some­thing I do, so it was fun kind of do­ing im­agery I don’t nor­mally get to paint.”

While Scott had an idea of what he wanted for the fence, he also gave Noel cre­ative li­cense.

“Those things work for tat­toos, but for a large scale mu­ral, it might not come off as well,” Noel said. “So I kind of put my twist on it, my il­lus­tra­tion style.”

Scott de­scribed the mu­ral as “new and im­proved” and “more mod­ern.”

“It’s just so beau­ti­ful in gen­eral; even peo­ple that aren’t into tat­too­ing have to ap­pre­ci­ate it,” he said. “So many peo­ple that don’t even have tat­toos com­pli­ment it. The more peo­ple drive by it, the more they look at it. it’s just go­ing to again con­tinue to be that land­mark.”


The new Amer­i­can Art Tat­too mu­ral was com­pleted in Oc­to­ber and fea­tures work by lo­cal artist Der­rick Noel.

Artist Der­rick Noel, left, and Amer­i­can Art Tat­too owner Dave Scott, right, pose for a photo out­side the new mu­ral.

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