BassAckward Studios is Kirk and Gretchen Peterson. We met at art school back in 1993, started the company on Halloween of 1994, and got married a little less than a year later. The first decade of BassAckward was primarily airbrush work, with Kirk getting back into tattooing in 2004.

Image © 2013 Emma Peterson

Today, BassAckward Studios is a multi-service studio. The tattoo shop is our primary line of business, but we also offer a full range of art services. Kirk’s airbrush work has won multiple awards over the years. From customizing your motorcycle to putting your own personal spin on your guitar, and everything in between, we can transform your ideas into a unique piece of artwork.

Our other services include portrait work drawn or painted from your photographs, logo design, and illustration. Our GlassAckward division features kiln formed glass art and handmade pottery.

BassAckward Studios is located at 811 Main Ave, Hebron, North Dakota. We are on the second floor above the Hebron Public Library; our entrance and parking are on the south side of the building.

We have now acquired all of the office spaces on the east wing of the second floor. These office spaces now include not just Kirk’s tattoo studio and Gretchen’s pottery store, but have enabled us to move so much of our home studio “stuff” OUT of our house and into a space where we can actually have room to work comfortably! What a concept!

For appointment and consultation scheduling, or any other inquiries, text or call 701-471-0836. Studio hours are normally noon – 4 p.m. (central time), Tuesdays through Saturdays, with after hours appointments available upon request.

Our retail store hours are Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from noon-4 p.m., by appointment, or whenever Gretchen happens to be at the shop.

Artist Profile: Kirk Peterson

Kirk took as many art classes as he could in high school, did a semester of fine art at MSU in Bozeman, MT, and then went on to earn an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Commercial Art from Bismarck State College in 1995.

Kirk has been airbrushing since 1993, everything from garments to vehicles. His airbrush work on motorcycles has earned numerous awards. Over the years, Kirk has done airbrush work for Ted Nugent (artwork for his Kamp for Kids charity), Tesla (airbrushed t-shirts), and BulletBoys (1995’s Acid Monkey album cover).

Kirk’s first tattoo apprenticeship was with Joey Desormeaux in 1993 (Infinite Irons). In 2004, Kirk returned to tattooing and apprenticed with Justin Marter (Michael Jays, Bismarck ND). He then went on to tattoo at Michael Jays for nearly 6 years, helping that studio earn the distinction “Best Tattoo Shop in Bismarck/Mandan” in the Bismarck Tribune’s annual “Best of the Best” readers choice awards for 6 consecutive years.

In 2010, Kirk joined forces with In the Flesh Tattoo in Dickinson, North Dakota. His collaboration with In the Flesh lasted through January of 2022 .

At the beginning of 2022, an opportunity was presented to relocate the studio to the city where we reside. This relocation also facilitated the opportunity to open a retail and gallery division of the studio.

In addition to his tattoo and airbrush work, Kirk is also a published illustrator, having created artwork for magazine covers, album covers, and books. His professional experience includes work in the tattoo, embroidery, and silk screen industries, resulting in the ability to paint, draw, and tattoo almost anything. Several years in the healthcare industry also reinforced the absolute necessity for a sterile tattoo environment. Although the tattoo machine and airbrush are his “weapons of choice,” Kirk also excels in portraiture and logo design. Kirk’s other hobbies include model and diorama building, landscaping, chainsaw carving, and woodworking. His current passions are building and flying FPV RC drones and planes; and 3d printing weird stuff to make obscure movie references for decorating the shop. (If you know, you know.)

Artist Profile: Gretchen Peterson

Gretchen has always had the need to “create.” She earned her Associate in Applied Science Degree in Commercial Art from Bismarck State College in 1994. She spent a few years in the silkscreen industry, but left the professional art world to raise the couple’s children. When their kids were small, she took on part time jobs in banking, healthcare, and administrative assistant roles, finally giving up those positions shortly after the birth of their third child to become a full-time, stay-home-mom. As their children have grown, so has Gretchen’s availability to pursue her own art.

Gretchen’s role in BassAckward Studios has always been primarily administrative, being in charge of financial, legal, and customer service elements.. Her commercial art skills are also utilized with layout and portrait work, logo design, website, and app development.

Gretchen has been gradually moving back toward the fine art aspects of the business. Our GlassAckward division showcases her work with kilnformed recycled glass, ceramic sculpture, and pottery. She has been working with glass for nearly 10 years; the pottery work is a fairly recent development. After a semester of pottery at BSC back in the early ’90’s, Gretchen had always wanted to explore that media further. With the responsibilities of “full-time mommying” diminishing, she then had the opportunity to apprentice and collaborate with Robin Reynolds of Dacotah Clayworks.

This work with Robin has been life changing for Gretchen. With Robin as mentor, teacher, and friend, Gretchen has also been processing wild clay dug from the couple’s own backyard and working with the locally sourced clay that makes Hebron famous as “The Brick City”. Now, with Robin’s recent relocation and semi-retirement, Robin has “passed the torch” of making and working with Hebron clay to Gretchen.

And yet, always in the background, there’s been painting and illustration. Quilting, gardening, and canning. Renovation and restoration projects. Always learning something new and acquiring new skills. Everything builds on everything. Gretchen is currently building a portfolio of statuary repair work.

Gretchen’s work can be purchased or commissioned by contacting her directly via email, through her GlassAckward facebook page, or by visiting our retail store at 811 1/2 Main, Hebron ND.

Updated 10/23/2023

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