Sat | Dec 14, 2019

Modify Me channels tattoo tourism into Montego Bay

Published:Wednesday | November 13, 2019 | 12:19 AM
Danielle Lee, the multifaceted proprietor of Modify Me in Montego Bay.
Danielle Lee, the multifaceted proprietor of Modify Me in Montego Bay.

There is no question that in Jamaica art and travel are inextricably linked.

Art tourism itself is described as visits paid by people to explore and engage in activities related to art, such as art festivals, galleries, concerts, and film festivals.

In terms of fine arts, while art galleries in Montego Bay are few and far between, there is one gallery in the Second City that is making a statement to tourists and locals alike, and that is Modify Me at the new Feareview Mall.

Modify Me is not only a gallery for fine arts but a classy, contemporary parlour that has kick-started Jamaica’s entry into tattoo tourism.

For operator of Modify Me Danielle Lee, the art form is catching on in the city, and she has a growing local and tourist clientele.

“For tattoos, especially, I do get a consistent turnout of tourists,” she said.

Tattoo tourism has been a staple in countries such as Tahiti, Hawaii, Japan, New Zealand, Borneo, Thailand, and Samoa, where people traditionally ink their bodies as a ritual.

All of the walls of Modify Me are covered with paintings from more than 15 artists from Montego Bay and other parts of the island. Lee is running out of space and so is planning a rotation system to facilitate the growing number of artists whose paintings are showcased there.

For Sharon Cunningham, a Montego Bay artist who specialises in painting and leather jewellery, Modify Me is helping to enabling her products to get added exposure and reach new markets, in addition to the support that she has been getting within the hotel sector.

“I have my products in a few hotels – Secrets, Tryall, Round Hill, S Hotel – and I am working on Half Moon,” she said.

“The response has been quite good. Usually, when the season kicks in, that’s when you get the action. So I’m hoping to have a good season this year,” she said.