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Placer County Library Assisting with Exhibit of Veterans Tattoo Art

May 16, 2014

The Placer County Library is part of an innovative drive to create an online exhibit of tattoo art displayed by California veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan.  

“War Ink” is a proposed multimedia exhibit that will feature 30 veterans from throughout the state. The stories surrounding their tattoos will be recorded by the StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative, a nationally acclaimed platform for veterans, service members and military families to share their stories. The project seeks to honor the voices of veterans, amplify their experiences and let them know the nation is listening. 

“The Placer County Library is excited to be involved in such a dynamic and innovative effort. Our thanks to the Contra Costa County Library for inviting us to participate,” explained Placer County Director of Library Services Mary George. 

“Our community is home to many veterans who have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It is my hope that local veterans will come forward to tell their stories through ‘War Ink.’ I’m both curious and excited to view the art of each tattoo and connect the Placer County community to the unique stories of our veterans.”  

Veterans interested in the project are encouraged to contact Jason Deitch, the project’s curator and scholar, directly at jasonadeitch@gmail.com or 510-593-8423. Deitch, a former combat medic and sociologist, created the project along with Project Director Chris Brown of the Contra Costa County Library. 

The initiative is an opportunity for veterans to tell how their tattoo art serves as reminders of experiences they and the people they served with had in Iraq and Afghanistan. Organizers noted that veterans often have tattoos that celebrate their service by depicting what they choose to remember. 

For “War Ink,” tattoos will be photographed by Shaun Roberts, a San Francisco-based photographer whose work has been featured in various magazines. 

The Placer County Library will display “War Ink” at www.placer.ca.gov/library beginning on Veterans Day, which will be observed on Tuesday, Nov. 11 this year.

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