ARIZONA’S HEART & SOL: Tattoo artist uses art to help kids with autism, in foster care

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 10:35 PM MST|Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 9:25 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Every week, KOLD News 13 partners with Casino Del Sol to highlight a person or organization going above and beyond in the community.

This week, we’re introducing a nonprofit using his art to give back.

Johnny Vasquez is with Spark Project Collective and has been a tattoo artist for about 15 years.

“I always kind of had that want to have somebody to coach me or to help me along the way,” he said. “And I feel like I’m in a position in life where I can do that for others and to help teach additional people to do the same.”

According to Vasquez, Spark Project Collective was started as the result of a decrease that he saw in funding for those in the autism community.

“We started out as a tattoo and body piercing shop, which helped generate revenue to buy toys for foster children, do art therapy for children on the autism spectrum and help the homeless community,” he said. “Since then, we’ve grown into an event center where we do about 20 to 30 free events within the community.”

At their location, he said, they focus on art therapy. They do it every other Sunday and for two or three hours every Saturday. They also focus on getting funding for foster children and provide up to 20,000 toys to foster kids each year.

“The most gratifying thing to me is seeing the joy in the children’s eyes,” he said.

On behalf of Casino Del Sol, Vasquez was given a $300 gift card.

If you know someone who embodies Arizona’s Heart & Sol, nominate them on KOLD’s website.

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