By Matt Mattei, Times Leader
WILKES-BARRE — The 570 Tattooing Co. has moved to a new, larger studio with the intent of bringing more to the downtown community than high quality tattoo work.
The new space is located at 59 North Main St., one door down from the company’s previous home at 57 North Main St. Along with more spacious rooms for their artists, owners Ron and Geena Russo are taking advantage of expanded wall space to feature art exhibits. A soft opening takes place on July 25, with a grand opening on Sept. 3.
“It’s about bringing something different to the area, not just a tattoo shop but an actual gallery,” Ron Russo said. “We want to cater to all types of people, not just people who want to get tattooed.”
The new 3,310 square foot location is a considerable expansion from the previous 820-square-foot space.
In addition to Ron Russo, 570 features artists Shaun Flinn, Charlie Hagenbach, Donovan White and Breandan Angley.
“We have two more artists-to-be-named joining our staff,” Geena Russo said. “We’re also currently looking for a curator for our galleries.”
The common areas of the studio are adorned with paintings from each of the 570 artists, memorabilia and awards. Each artist on staff had an opportunity to choose and design his own office in the new studio.
“Now I have my own space,” White said. “I can personalize it. We all made our home away from home.”
Flinn said he’s glad to be building a space he’s comfortable in.
“I don’t feel I have to rush out of here at the end of the day,” Flinn said.
Angley said he loves the amount of space and it caters to his creativity.
“You’re flowing better here,” Angley said.
Ron Russo said more room to move allows him to clear his head and get back to being creative, and Hagenbach went as far as to customize his entire space from walls to shelves to the electrical work.
“I personally wanted a classic tattoo shop feel,” Hagenbach said. “I’ve always respected the history of tattooing and where it started, like the classic shops on the pike in Southern California.”
The grand opening starts at 6 p.m. Sept. 3, and it features paintings done by artists from all over the country. The inaugural gallery showcase of Coal City Art of the Dead includes live music by ZFL, Wolves Attack and Aaron Bruch of Breaking Benjamin, and renowned artists Paul Booth, Paul Acker, Casey Anderson and Josh Ruff will be in attendance.
Excited for the grand opening, Geena Russo said, “Everyone in the world is welcome. We’ll have free food and free drinks, and it’s going to be amazing.”
Attendees must be 18 and older to attend.
While paintings from 570 artists are featured in the Sept. 3 exhibit, Geena Russo is adamant about bringing other artists to the eyes of the Wyoming Valley.
“We want to make people understand that there are great artists outside the community,” she said.
While the new studio represents a progressive philosophy for the Russos, a desire to diversify the mediums they feature and showcase, they also appreciate the road they’ve travelled.
“I want our customers to see they helped us get this far,” Geena Russo said. “I want them to feel pride with us because they helped us get here.”