A Kentucky tattoo shop is drawing up some business with its latest initiative: removing hate-related and gang tattoos – for free.
Gallery X Art Collective in Murray shared its decision to cover up people’s “racist tattoo” or “gang tattoos” pro bono on social media.
In the post, the tattoo studio said it was extending the offer to help “change your future in becoming a better person” with “no questions asked” about the previous tattoo.
“If it is hate related, in any way, we will schedule you a day to come get it cover up for free, at the artists choosing. There will be options for ideas but all designs and ideas will be up to Jeremiah, or Ryun King which ever one is doing your tattoo,” the post read, noting the cover-up design will be decided on by the two artists – and not the customer.
“We have plenty of pred[r]awn designs and flash books, so if you feel it’s time to change your hate, or have been reformed but been too broke to cover your mistake of a tattoo, come see me you’ll get a class tattoo for free that can start your path to being the person you were meant to be,” the post concluded.
The two artists – Ryun King and Jeremiah Swift – reportedly were inspired by their support of the Black Lives Matter movement and came up with the idea.
According to ABC News, the shop has received more than 500 responses.
"The response has been a little overwhelming for the artist," shop owner Jay Harvill told ABC News on Monday. "They are reviewing each one and they really want to help everyone that truly wants to cover up and right the wrongs from past mistakes."
The response on social media has been overwhelmingly positive, with commenters praising the two artists.
“Absolutely love this...you have a lifelong client because of gestures like this,” one person wrote.
“This is incredible. God bless your heart," a particularly moved man wrote. "This is coming from a U.S. Army veteran who dealt with a lot of racism throughout my almost 7 years in service. This country and this world needs more people like that. People who wants to make a change in their community. I do not have any gang or racist tattoos on my body but I will make sure that one day I will go to your shop and get a tattoo by you. Much respect to you sir."
As the massive response continues, the artists have asked those reaching out to “be patient” as they figure out scheduling amidst the coronavirus pandemic, which forced them to postpone appointments for months.