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HAMMONTON - The arts are a vital part of Hammonton and now those who come to town can add another place to their list to enjoy with the opening of the new gallery at Moerder Tattoos and Gallery.

On Saturday night, Moerder Tattoos and Gallery held their opening reception for its their first show, which featured Moerder Tattoos and Gallery owner Sue Moerder and her long-time friend Rone Del Galeone.

“What better way to introduce a new thing,” smiled Moerder.

Moerder’s shop has been open for five years now, but Moerder recently decided to add a gallery as a way to display not only her artwork, but also the artwork of other artists. There was another reason why Moerder opened the shop though.

“I started doing artwork, but was running out of room to display,” laughed Moerder.

She has been a tattoo artist for more than 14 years. Moerder moved to Hammonton and opened her own shop because she liked the school district for her daughter. While Moerder loves being a tattoo artist, she also is a more “traditional” artist as she paints and creates sculptures.

Often, Moerder has found that tattoo artists are doing other types of art as well, but do not get the same recognition or opportunities to display their works. Moerder has no intention of limiting what types of artists display their works in her gallery.

“I think it is a really great opportunity for artists,” said Moerder.

In fact, Moerder is currently looking for more artists to display in her gallery. While she has no interest in limiting the type of artists or subjects they do. There will be a new show every six weeks.

“I don’t know how long she was brewing this idea,” said Del Galeone about her good friend’s idea for the gallery. She was thrilled when Moerder told her about it and was happy to display some of her artwork. Del Galeone also does commission work and can be found at www.ronedel.com.

“It’s really cool,” said Roy Boyker about the opening of the gallery. Boyker and his wife, Kathy, have been going to Moerder’s shop since she first opened and each have been tattooed by her. “Sue is a great person; she has a big heart,” said Kathy Boyker.

A testament to Moerder’s big heart is her tattooing of women who have suffered through breast cancer. While Moerder does not do reconstructive tattooing, she does do artistic tattooing to help women who have had mastectomies feel beautiful during a time when they might not be feeling that way. Moerder also will offer a discount for her “artistic reconstructions” to women who have a limited income. Moerder is honored to help women regain their confidence.

“Tattooing is such a rewarding field,” said Moerder.

Moerder Tattoos and Gallery is open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or by appointment. They are located at 320 12th Street in Hammonton. To make an appointment, or for more information on the gallery or to inquire about displaying artwork, please call (302) 475-2235 or email suemoerder@comcast.net. Moerder Tattoos and Gallery can also be found on Facebook or at www.moerdertattoos.com.

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