Visual Art Events

E.C.’s First Tattoo Invitational to Bring More Than a Dozen Artists to Area

hosted by Shannon Nordin of Old North Tattoo, the inaugural event will be April 19-21 at the Brewing Projekt

Sawyer Hoff, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

I (NEED)LE TATTOO. The first ever Sawdust City Tattoo Invitational will be held April
I NEED(LE) TATTOO. The first-ever Sawdust City Tattoo Invitational will be held April 19-21 at The Brewing Projekt, bringing together artist from around the country. (Pictured tattoos by Horisora and Matt Gutierrez)

From fine line to realism to traditional, tattoos can reflect an incredible range of styles, each uniquely cultivated through the tattoo artists themselves. For the first time, Eau Claire will be able to watch and experience the art of highly skilled tattoo artists from around the country, all in one local spot.

On April 19-21, Shannon Nordin, owner of Old North Tattoo (209 N. Barstow St., Eau Claire), will host Eau Claire’s inaugural Sawdust City Tattoo Invitational at The Brewing Projekt (1807 N. Oxford Ave.). Though 13 artists are currently confirmed, Nordin says he’s hoping for about 15 total, all of them artists he had either worked with or worked under in the past.

“Tattooing is a pretty small world, so there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes chitter-chatter like, ‘Oh that would be great if you could get that person,’ but sometimes it's hard to convince somebody that coming to northern Wisconsin in April is a good idea,” Nordin joked.

Already on board are artists Brad Burkhart (Denver), Steven Skorjanec (Minneapolis), Collin Rigsby (Minneapolis), Zach Stuka (Madison), Bunny (Madison), Matt Gutierrez (Lacey, Washington), Brandon Swanson (Nashville), Jake Hudson (Nashville), Chris Cockrill (San Diego), Horisora (traveling), and Kenny Waizumi (San Diego), and of course, Nordin himself. He is announcing each participant on Instagram (@sawdustcitytattooinvitational).

Tattoo by
Tattoo by Steven Skorjanec.

The event will be held on the upper floor of The Brewing Projekt, and onlookers are encouraged to not only check out the live tattooing but to view and purchase some of additional art the artists will have available, such as T-shirts, stickers, prints, and more. Anyone interested in getting a tattoo over the weekend can reach out to individual artists to set up an appointment. There may also be walk-ups available if an artist isn’t booked.

Though the hours of the event aren’t set in stone yet, according to Nordin they’ll likely be: Friday, April 19, from 2-11pm; Saturday, April 20, from noon-11pm; and Sunday, April 21, from noon-6pm or whenever artists start to pack up.

“(There’s) no pressure to get tattooed,” Nordin assured. “But if you’re curious, then it could definitely set the wheels in motion for maybe helping somebody along their journey to decide to get a tattoo.”

One artist that will be particularly exciting to see in person, according to Nordin, is Horisora, who is a classically trained Japanese Tebori tattoo artist. Tebroi is a traditional Japanese style of tattooing, done by using a slender tool with a needle grouping attached to the tip, as opposed to a machine.

Nordin says he hopes to make this event an annual one, bringing not only many different tattoo artists into town, but tattoo enthusiasts of all persuasions.

For more information and to see artist contact information, go to the Sawdust City Invitational Instagram page (@sawdustcitytattooinvitational).