Biking down Sixth Street near the Basque Block earlier this afternoon, I noticed the former Sixth Street Studio tattoo parlor was getting a vibrant face lift. Perched on a ladder outside, recent Salt Lake City transplant Jay O’Leary brushed swaths of bright purple and green to form the name of the shop, Spit Shade.
Though O’Leary is originally from the Bay Area, he lived in Boise a few years back before skipping out on his probation and moving to Salt Lake. Now that he’s back in town for a solid eight years, he’s looking to add something creative and new to the community.
“There’s not many art galleries here in Boise and there are so many artists here, so I want to get in all different walks of life,” explained O’Leary. “This place used to be more of a biker tattoo shop and we’re trying to get away from that whole image so we’re bringing lots of bright colors—we’re calling it the Riddler Den, because it reminds me of the Riddler [from Batman.]”
O’Leary explains that, since rent is so cheap in the space, he won’t charge artists anything to display their work in the shop or any commission on sold pieces and he’ll let a new artist install a show every two months.
“I just like in your face stuff, everything we have in here is a little more extreme, underground, artsy,” said O’Leary.
Spit Shade plans to open its doors to the public on Friday the 13th of November.