Profile: Jacci Gresham (1951-)

Jacci Gresham is a tattoo artist from Flint, Michigan, US.  She has been based in New Orleans since 1976. Her shop, Aart Accent Tattoos & Body Piercing, is Louisiana’s oldest continuous tattoo business. At the time of its opening, she was one of only five practicing female tattoo artists in the United States, and the only woman doing tattooing in New Orleans. In 2011 she was honored as a Pioneer of Female Tattoo Artists.

Early Life and career

Gresham enjoyed drawing as a child. In college, she studied architecture and engineering. After graduating, she began working for General Motors designing floor plans for car dealerships. At the age of 25, while working at an engineering firm, she met Ajit “Ali” Singh. Both later visited New Orleans in search of work, but were not successful. At the time, there were only two tattoo shops in New Orleans. Upon this discovery, Gresham and Singh then opened up what was then the third tattoo shop in New Orleans. When they opened this shop Gresham had no experience, and did not even have a tattoo of her own. Subsequently the two existing shops have closed making Aart Accent the oldest in New Orleans.

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