Downtown Towson’s first tattoo shop, Triple Crown Tattoo, opened its doors last Friday almost a year after the Baltimore County Council passed legislation allowing it.
“We delivered what we said we would,” said Grant Aikin, who owns the shop with his wife, tattoo artist Deirdre Aikin, saying the couple wanted to create a “clean, professional gallery setting.” The loftlike, second-floor space is large, airy and bathed in natural light.
“It doesn’t have to be dingy and weird,” Deirdre Aikin said. “[Tattooing is] an art form, and it should be treated as such.”
“It’s a beautiful facility,” said Councilman David Marks, who represents Towson and submitted the legislation amending the county code to allow the shop to open. “I’m very impressed by what they were able to do in that building. It’s a beautiful space.”
Art is central to the combined tattoo studio and gallery space. Deirdre Aikin, an artist trained in sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art, said she has spent 15 years collecting the art that lines the walls of the shop on the second floor of 501 York Road. “I might have an art problem,” Aikin joked.
On the walls in late February were works inspired by films by Taiwanese artist James Jean, shimmering mandalas by California artist Cryptik, stark illustrations created in Baltimore by artist Mike Giant, and delicate feather photography on handmade Nepalese paper by father-son duo Dennis and Roy Barloga. In the waiting room, customers can peruse cases of jewelry from around the world while looking at walls of posters and prints.
Deirdre Aikin said she wants to spread that love of art to Towson — her dream, she said, is to make downtown Towson an arts district. She hopes to work with a committee that is working on putting public art in the downtown Towson district.