Cruciformity: Gallery Opening

Saturday night, February 25th, we had our opening for our Cruciformity: Stations on Skin show. Around 30 of the tatooees showed up and were the actual living “Stations of the Cross” while hundreds of art enthusiasts came by and interacted with the show.

Here’s a couple pics that are up on the wall of people’s tattoos.

It was an awesome night.


Below are pictures of the gallery stations. The statements below are from the people who are represented in the large pictures.

“Most people that know me would never imagine that I would actually get a tattoo, so when they see it I get a great chance to tell them how important Christ is in my life and to explain what Easter is all about.” – Dennis
“I selected this tattoo because it reminds me of my favorite catholic prayer “Jesus Lamb of God”. It makes me understand what Jesus did for us.”
“I have spoken with other Christians about my tattoo, Their comments all say I’m crazy. I say “Crazy for Jesus”. – Sherrell
 “I often forget that while Jesus was wholly God, he was also wholly human; this tattoo reminds me that in His walk to His death – His actual, mortal death – He felt pain, weakness, and loneliness.”
“People don’t really know what to do with the idea that my church is encouraging tattoos. And in that moment of being really thrown off, they’re open to hearing about Jesus, who He is, and what He means to me.” – Brent
“I am so thankful that I have found a faith community, imperfect as we are, that truly know and show unconditional love, as has been shown to us!”
 “I have wanted a tattoo since those 1960’s teenage years…but I could only push my Dad so far back then…and I just never did it.”
“I chose Station 4, Jesus meets his mother.  I think it is absolutely beautiful!  I am  a Mom to a wonderful son, and at times through the years I have seen him struggle and have seen him in pain, it was heartrending.  I can relate, though in only a minuscule way, to the pain that the Mother of Jesus felt on that day.” – Joyce
“This tattoo represents a life with some things I did not ask for, but was given the grace and ability, through Christ, to carry this journey out, walking upright, with perseverance and endurance which in turn produced fruitfulness in my life.”
“My story is really God’s story…I get to share how He has been real in my life… how He has been faithful, even in my faithlessness.  How He’s carried me, had others carry me and taught me how to carry.  How through His death and resurrection, I now have life…and others can have life too.  This tattoo is an awesome ‘breaking down of walls’. And it also serves as a constant reminder that His love is permanent….for not only me but everyone.” – Stephanie
“Interestingly enough, it wasn’t the aesthetic of Station #6 that appealed to me. In fact, my first thought was that it was a little funny looking. The appeal for me was in Scott’s single-word description. “Humility.” I couldn’t get past it. It took a bit for the image to click, but when it did, I was moved. The image of a tree that’s been chopped down… So simple, but so powerful. Such a beautiful way to visually render Christ’s humility, especially in the passion story, and especially in light of Station 10, a tree growing out of a coffin, representing Jesus’ resurrection.”
“If Christ, even Christ, God in the flesh, can make nothing of Himself for the good of His beloved bride, the Church, how much more so should I humble myself? Metaphorically speaking, I am a tree in constant need of chopping.” – Luke
“I think all too often, we as Christians are known more for what we hate and that we want to force other people to live a certain way. I plan to use this (tattoo) as an opportunity to tell people that Jesus lived in a way that was very different from that. Jesus loved us so much that he was willing to suffer and die for us. What he wants most is our freedom, and he invites us into a life that creates freedom for us and for those around us as well.” – Wayne
“Christ’s death on the cross is what allows me to be who I am today, but understanding the pain and the suffering of the actual act of crucifixion has helped me to understand grace in very personal way.”
 “It was not till I started to attend Ecclesia that I realized that there were many other ways to communicate the blessings and joy of Christ with others.  I never thought that I would be able to open conversations with others about my faith by adorning myself with art that means so very much to me.” – Noel
“This is my first tattoo, and I chose “lay me down” because death is a reality that I encounter regularly (as a nurse practitioner) and I find strength in my hope and faith in God. I would like to get the “rise again” tattoo on my other foot at some point.” – Sung“In recent years the urge (to get a tattoo) was still there, but I didn’t know what to get so I waited and I knew this was the year.  When the announcement and images where shown at church, it became clear as to why I waited and the decision was made.  My wife squeezed my hand and said this is what you were waiting for and this is meant to be.”
“The image itself is a dual representation of me and of course, Christ. It was a connection that held true to my journey with Him the minute I saw it.  First, in my opinion, it is the most meaningful of the stations.  Christ rose again from hate, doubt, and disbelief.  Second, it is parallel in meaning with my fall and struggle to raise again with Christ in hand.”
“I have never been more sure of his presence in my life.” – Guadalupe

Before the gallery opening, one of the tattoo participants asked me what the most surprising aspect of the project was. Was it that so many people got tattoos? Thinking about it, my response is that I was surprised by how thankful everyone is who partook in the show by getting a tattoo. Pretty much everyone who got a tattoo thanked me for putting on this project and working hard on the designs. Their tattoo process meant a ton to them and they just had gratitude for being in a community that provided them the chance to get a meaningful tattoo.

There have been many comments from outsiders on this project and everyone feels like they should have a place to say their opinion. Well good for them. For me though, I know this was worth doing for the fruit I’m seeing in this community and in the lives of the people who participated. It’s been such an honor to be able to be involved in this.


About scotterickson

curator of awesomeness
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17 Responses to Cruciformity: Gallery Opening

  1. Will says:

    this is simply great!! I even love how the “same” tattoos came out differently. Different tattoo artists did different color, etc. So good!

  2. Molly says:

    Fantastic! I love this!

  3. Pingback: The Best Thing I Saw Today « Sea of Gray!

  4. this is amazing. Thank you for sharing the pictures and quotes for those of us not in Houston. Makes me want to come there for a visit to the gallery!

  5. Pingback: Lent, Art and Tattoos «

  6. gtaco94 says:

    That is awesome, I love how the stations are interpreted thru these tattoos. If only I knew about this project, I would have participated myself! I’ve been meaning to get a tattoo for a while but never felt anything was meaningful enough for me!

    • scotterickson says:

      you should get one still! the show is going on for a few months so if you send a pic i’ll put it up in the gallery… but beyond that all are welcome to participate. we’ve had people from all over get tattoos. you’re totally welcome to use the designs for a tattoo.

  7. Jason says:

    Where can we download the designs? I am planning to get another tattoo and would be interested in one of these.

  8. Alisha says:

    Oh my… I am so taken by this… I’m in tears… I just said today I want another tattoo. You are so amazing, Bro. God bless you and this ministry.

  9. Thanks for the post, Scott. Brilliant stuff. I’ll send pics once my wife and I officially get ours done.

    Especially appreciated your statement at the end bit on outsider’s opinions. It brought this quote to mind –

    We should get Chris to write, “The Gospel According to Moneyball”. With Ecclesia’s story beginning at Astro’s games, it just might be perfect.

  10. Lenses says:

    Reblogged this on Kingdom Lenses in Asia and commented:
    This is a follow up to the video I posted on March 25, 2012 with Chris Seay on CNN. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom to see each station and read the comments from those who got the tattoos. It is a really unique project and takes a unique community to be able to do something like this, and I think there is something really beautiful about this project. which is why i am reblogging this from Ecclesia’s resident artist. I hope he doesn’t mind =)

  11. Lenses says:

    Thanks for posting the comments from the people who chose to get the tattoos. I loved what each had to say and I love that they were given the opportunity to participate in something so meaningful.

  12. nickff says:

    To kick-off holy week here in Burlington, VT, my wife and I decided to join in on this story. I got #7, while my wife went with #10. We couldn’t be more stoked.

    Here’s a blog post with pictures –

  13. Rach says:

    This is such an inspiration! I am really keen to get a tattoo (albeit musical as opposed to overtly faith based), and often get a negative response from my church. A lot of them feel that they’re wrong and that you shouldn’t permanently mark your skin with such a thing. It’s therefore really refreshing for me to see such a project embraced and presented so well. Thank you! 🙂

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