Studio 22 Fourth of July Party brings well known tattoo artist

Studio 22 Tattoo and Boutique owner Tina Upstill and award-winning tattoo artist and Coolidge High School alum Chris Schaar pose at the Fourth of July weekend party held July 6 at the tattoo shop, 381 W. Central Ave.

COOLIDGE — What began as a special event in honor of Independence Day soon became a full-time gig for a well-known tattoo artist.

On July 6, Studio 22 Tattoo and Boutique held a Fourth of July weekend party that was designed to help raise funds for local veterans organizations as well as the family of an Imagine Prep student who was injured in a single-vehicle collision last month.

The event, said Studio 22 owner Tina Upstill, was also put on in partnership with Dottie’s Deals, which supplied food for incoming customers. For the tattoo and piercing studio, the Fourth of July weekend bash was just what was needed to bring a popular tattoo artist to town.

An alumnus of Coolidge High School, Chris Schaar has made a name for himself as a tattoo artist, Hollywood actor and stuntman. After suffering an injury on the set of the 1995 film “The Quick and the Dead,” Schaar — who already had a natural interest in drawing — picked up tattooing as a way to make ends meet because he thought his career as an actor was over.

Schaar said he decided to come back to Coolidge for personal reasons after he found himself in between films. Last week, he announced plans to stay on as a full-time artist at the local tattoo shop.

“Since he pulled into town, we have been slammed here,” Upstill said. “The neat thing is that he’s from (Coolidge). So all his old friends come in to see him.”

Friends like veteran fighter Shannon “The Cannon” Ritch, who stopped by the boutique during the party and even got another tattoo.

Since coming on with the tattoo shop, Schaar has completed a number of pieces for the shop’s customers ranging from coverups to more elaborate works.

With Schaar on board, Upstill said she plans to host more themed events in the future, including potentially holding a haunted house in October.