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RACINE, KENOSHA, MILWAUKEE COUNTIES — Mikeal Dollak Posch spent 25 days at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin following a motorcycle crash that took place on July 24 in Racine.

tattoo artist rally
The Rally isn’t just about Mike, it’s about showcasing the brotherhood within the tattoo community. – Photo courtesy of Ryan Henkel

Dollak Posch, a tattoo artist at Black Hand Tattoo Gallery and member of the local band Vacant Voice, was taken via Flight for Life from the scene to the hospital.

A collision resulted in injuries and surgeries not limited to, but including: a portion of his calf tore off which required a donor graph, his elbow was dislocated, a bone in his arm fractured, a small bone in his hand was broken which required a screw placement, as well as the re-tearing of his ACL.

He’s was issued a wheelchair to use throughout his recovery and doctors predict that he could be out of work for three to six months depending on his healing.

“All in all, even though they’re injuries that are going to take some time to heal up, I did get pretty lucky,” comments the motorcyclist.

While insured, the time he spent in the hospital has resulted in a hefty amount of bills and time away from work. Although he has a lot on his plate, Dollak Posch has a sense of calm as the community is working to take some of the financial stress off his mind and wallet.

“I feel pretty well taken care of (because of the community),” says the injured tattoo artist.

Community steps up

tattoo artist rally
When Mike isn’t leaving his artistic mark on others, he is busy expressing himself musically in the local band, Vacant Voice. – Photo courtesy of Mikeal Dollak Posch

Over the years, as a musician and tattoo artist, Dollak Posch has built many connections with people throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

It is now these people who are making an effort to take care of him throughout his recovery.

First, a GoFundMe page was established with the goal of $10,000. It has earned close to $8,000 thus far.

Breaking the stigma around the tattoo community

People extended their good wishes and have reached out, but one group in particular is going the extra mile, and that’s the tattoo community.

tattoo artist rally
Ryan Henkel, owner of dead set ink, and his wife, Kerri. – Photo courtesy of Ryan Henkel

Ryan Henkel, owner of Dead Set Ink, 7400 60th Ave., Kenosha, wants to wipe away any worries that one of their own may have.

Dollak Posch has done guest spots at the local shop allowing Henkel to connect with the motorist.

“He’s a solid, sweet guy. Everybody’s friends with Mike,” says Henkel. “The tattoo community can be very open but can also be a very closed door. And that’s one thing that we try not to do.”

Henkel shares that the tattoo community is a brotherhood and they are just helping their brother in need.

tattoo artist rally
Mike is a tattoo artist in the Racine and Kenosha area. He works at Black Hand Tattoo Gallery in Racine. – Photo courtesy of Mikeal Dollak Posch

“It’s great to see so many people that I’ve made such great connections with show their support and obviously showcase what our friendship has meant to them,” says Dollak Posch. “That’s been overwhelming in so many ways, but really the the amount of support that I’ve gotten from the tattooing community has been insanely, insanely overwhelming.”

The injured motorcyclist can feel the brotherhood surrounding him.

tattoo artist rally
Tattoo artists and enthusiasts have a unique community that can be misunderstood by others. It is hoped that The Rally will not only raise much-needed funds, but also help to change the way others see the ink community. – Photo courtesy of Ryan Henkel

“There’s been a reputation that’s been carried by the tattoo community for a long time that isn’t necessarily fair. And I think that this has been a showcase of how much camaraderie there really is in the tattooing (industry),” says Dollak Posch.

Whether it is bouncing tattoo ideas off one another, giving recommendations, or coming together when one of their own is in need, Dead Set Ink and the artists associated with the business, work to be collaborative and inviting.

It’s why they are opening their doors up: to help break the stigma of the tattoo community, but most importantly, to raise funds for their fellow artist.

“This is the kind of positivity that I think the tattooing world can really thrive in,” says Dollak Posch. “Just knowing that we’re able to take such a wonderful job and such a wonderful craft that we have and use it for the good of others.”

The Rally

Just over a month after the crash occurred, Dead Set Ink will host The Rally: a benefit for Mikeal Dollak Posch featuring a day of tattoos, Captain Mike’s Galley food truck, drinks, a poker run, 50/50, raffles, a silent auction, possible games and shirts for sale.

tattoo artist rally
Tattoos will be available and benefit Mikeal on Aug. 27 at Dead Set Ink in Kenosha. – Photo courtesy of Ryan Henkel

“All the proceeds are gonna go to him. We’re just trying to find every single angle we can to spend that day making a good amount of money for him,” says Henkel.

Tattoo artists from Big Guns Tattoo from Oshkosh, The Foundry Tattoo Company from Milwaukee, Bird of Paradox Studios from Kenosha, Eternal Tiger Tattoo from Grayslake, Ill., and from Mike’s shop, Black Hand Tattoo gallery, will be present and tattooing in honor of Mike.

“They’re all going to come with their own set of flash. And then when that flash is gone, that artist is gone. And then we just have the next artist come in,” explains Henkel.

tattoo artist rally
Mikeal sustained multiple injuries due to a motorcycle crash in Racine. He spent 25 days in the hospital in milwaukee and will be recovering for 3 to 6 months. – Photo courtesy of Mikeal Dollak Posch

A flash is a set of premade designs by each artist for the event. Tattoos are estimated to be priced around $150 to $200.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the tattoo shop and at the participating locations involved in the poker run.

“I really want people to come here and have a good time,” says Henkel.

It is unclear if the recipient will be at the event given the extent of his injuries. Despite the possibility of not being there, the impact does not go unnoticed.

Unable to attend the benefit? Donations can be made online.


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