Tattooing Tucson Since 1976

Ancient Art Tattoo History

Ancient Art Tattoo

Oldest established Tucson Tattoo shop

In the early eighties, my good friend J. D. Crowe founded Ancient Art Tattoo in Virginia Beach, Virginia and we formed a co-op of artists under the same name with the purpose of promoting safe tattooing. I started tattooing in 1971 and opened my first tattoo studio in Tucson, AZ in 1976. During the nineties J. D. Crowe and I toured America, hosting 14 tattoo conventions known as “the Tattoo Tour.” We became the “Memory Makers” of that decade, bringing artists from across the country to share in what we dubbed the ‘art of giving’.

My first shop was on 4th Ave in 1976. In 1979 I had the chance to work with Cliff Raven in Hollywood California. A desire to the desert was on my heart so I moved back to open my Grant Road location in 1982. It was the only shop in Tucson at that time. A small hole in the wall. The shop is still there under different ownership. I had the privilege to do the art work on Big John Stud for the movie 'Marlboro Man meets Harley Davidson.'

A question was put to me did I know what I wanted to be when I was a child. I was an Eagle Scout serving at the Boy Scouts pavilion at the World’s Fair in 1964-65. I had the privilege to see Michelangelo’s Pieta sculpture of Mary and Christ. I knew then I wanted to be artist. I enjoyed painting and wanted to be like Norman Rockwell painting pictures of America. I didn’t realize at that time that I would end up being an artist painting on Americans! My desire has been fulfilled; I have lived my life as an artist.

Inside view of Dennis Dwyer's Art Studio 1882

Shortly after that date I change the name to Ancient Art Tattoo

Never forget where you come from, but always have a hope of where you are going!

In 1993 we moved to 2108 S. Alvernon Way. At that time we had expanded not only to tattooing, but manufacture tattoo machines and supplies. The company is Precision Tattoo Supply and we set out to build the best machines on the market, designing two signature machines, the ‘Nail’ and the “Mad Max.” Gina and I also started Private Eyes Cosmetic tattooing, all three business operating under one roof. During all those years I had the privilege to offer over five hundred jobs. A lot of artist got their start in this place learning the foundation of skills to tattoo.



 Ancient Art Tattoo been here in Tucson a good long while

Tattooing is very popular today and there are many people who are doing it, unlike it was forty years ago, what once was taboo has become fashionable. Dennis Dwyer is the owner of Ancient Art Tattoo in Tucson and leaving a tattoo mark in Tucson, Arizona since 1976. With all of this experience, we can create any tattoo you can imagine or, if you need help coming up with ideas, you can browse our thousands of designs or let one of our skilled artists create a custom design that’s just for you.  There’s no tattoo we can’t handle, be it large or small, traditional, new school, portraiture, realism, black and grey or vibrant color!  And we don’t just do body tattoos, we also specialize in permanent cosmetic makeup.  Let us enhance your natural beauty with perfectly arched tattooed eyebrows and subtle or dramatic permanent makeup eyeliner that will last for years and years!