NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Visitors to The Prairie Arts Center in North Platte may see a familiar face at this months "Illustrated Man" exhibit.
On display July 1st through July 27th, The Prairie Arts Center has a Tattoo Art and Body Art Show, with North Platte's Mayor, Dwight Livingston, as a model.
Mayor Livingston has tattoos on both of his upper arms, typically covered by the sleeves of his shirt. Now, they are being showcased and he said his tattoos have a special meaning to him.
"I just wanted to do something, I mean we're talking 30 years after I was in Vietnam for Pete's sake. I remembered this," said Livingston as he pointed to his framed certificate,"I've dug it out, you can tell that this thing has been around because it's been folded up, I'm surprised I still have it quite honestly, so I was pretty proud of that this the reason I have [the tattoo]."
Livingston's tattoo on his left, upper arm is a replica of the insignia found on his award for his service in the Air Force in Vietnam where he served as a Sergeant over 25 individuals from October 1968-August 1972.
"It was the patch that we wore when I was in Vietnam. That’s what we were known for, the Gun Fighters of Da Nang, and I was pretty proud of that group of men that I was with there," said Livingston, "They were some pretty amazing people. W struggled for over a year when I was there and so I guess in honor of them, and myself, for making it through there and for coming home in one piece, some of them did not so I just wanted to use that."
On his right arm is a motorcycle and some words in Chinese. He said he used to ride a Harley Davidson and a Goldwing and time spent on his bike was important to him. The Chinese symbols on his arm say his name and 'never give up and only the strong survive.'
Livingston said he got his ink later in life, when he was about 50 years old, as his mother did not approve of them.
"My mom didn’t want me to get any tattoos, but once I hit 50, I thought, I should be able to get myself a tattoo," said Livingston, "I never did show mom. My mom never knew about this tattoo, she passed away a couple years ago now, but she never knew.”
The Tattoo and Body Art Show runs until July 27th at The Prairie Arts Center and admission is free. The photography was provided by Photographic Images and A Moment Photography.