Dion Kaszas


“Native societies tend to think of artists differently. The ability to make things by hand is considered a gift given by the Creator, to be used for the welfare of the community”

Richard Hill


Artist Biography

Dion Kaszas is a painter, tattoo artist, cultural tattoo practitioner, teacher, and  scholar of Hungarian, Métis, and Nlaka'pamux (Interior Salish) heritage. He was born in Salmon Arm, British Columbia where he works out of his small painting studio. As a professional tattoo artist he can be found working at Vertigo Tattoos and Body Piercing in Salmon Arm.  The inspiration for his work comes from his Salish and  Métis heritage and his life long passion for tattooing. With the exception of a ten year period where Dion was serving as a Christian minister and spiritual leader Dion has always been creating something using his hands. The spark to create returned as Dion entered his tattoo apprenticeship in 2009 and it was in 2013 after taking the seminar " Painting the Portrait," facilitated by one of Dion's favorite artists Shawn Barber that Dion feel in love with oil painting.


Dion's passion for tattooing extends beyond his artistic work into his academic pursuit of a Masters degree in Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna, British Columbia.  His area of research is Indigenous tattooing, focusing keenly on the revival of Indigenous peoples tattooing practices, using Indigenous and Creative research methodologies.


This website is dedicated to Dion's artistic production outside of his work as a professional tattoo artist and cultural tattoo practitioner, if you are interested in checking out his work as a tattoo artist please visit his website @



Or to follow his travels and adventures follow his tattooing blog @



Dion Also runs a painting blog that details his non tattoo related artistic production check it out @



If you see anything you like and would like hang it in your home check out his art store @



Artist CV


Dion Kaszas


Salmon Arm British Columbia




Mobile 1-250-8048495



Personal dkaszas@hotmail.com



2013 expected to complete in March 2017: Masters Degree, Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies with a specialization in Indigenous Studies, University of British Columbia

2008/9 - 2012/4: Bachelor's, Bachelor of Arts, Indigenous Studies, University of British Columbia


Recognitions & Awards

2017: Masterpiece Study Grant-1,300 (Canadian dollars), YVR Art Foundation

2016: Aboriginal Peoples Collaborative Exchange: National and International Project Grant – 20,000 (Canadian dollars), Aboriginal Arts Office at the Canada Council of the Arts, Earth Line Tattoo: Aotearoa

2016: Equity and Enhancement Fund – 6,000 (Canadian dollars), Equity and Inclusion Office at the University of British Columbia, Indigenous Tattooing School Project Funding

2015: BC Aboriginal Student Award - 5,000 (Canadian dollars), Irving K Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society, Prize / Award

2014: Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship – 10,000 (Canadian dollars), University of British Columbia, Distinction

2014: BC Aboriginal Student Award - 5,000 (Canadian dollars), Irving K Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society, Prize / Award

2014: University of British Columbia Okanagan Graduate Fellowship - 6,000 (Canadian dollars), Prize / Award

2013: New Relationship Trust Foundation 2013/14 Masters Scholarship - 10,000 (Canadian dollars), Distinction

2013: 2013 BC Aboriginal Student Award - 5,000 (Canadian dollars), Irving K Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society, Prize / Award

2013 Graduate Entrance Scholarship - 5,000 (Canadian dollars), University of British Columbia, Distinction

2013: University of BC Okanagan Graduate Fellowship - 3,000 (Canadian dollars), Distinction

2012: Deputy Vice Chancellor Scholarship for Continuing Students - 1,000 (Canadian dollars), University of British Columbia, Distinction



2009-Present: Professional Tattoo Artist, Vertigo Tattoos and Body Piercing

2013/11-Present: Graduate Research Assistant for Canada Research Chair Dr. Jeannette Armstrong, working on visual and material culture of the Interior Salish.

2016/09-Present: Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Margo Tamez

2016/11-Present: Research Consultant for Skindigenous TV Series (NISH Media)



(2016). Weaving a new reality: Indigenous tattoo revival. The Native American Studies Graduate Student Symposium, UC Davis, California

(2016) Embodying the Past in the Present for the Future: Practicing, Supporting, Highlighting Indigenous Tattoo Revivals Through Indigenous and Creative Research Methodologies, Vancouver, BC

(2014). Weaving the Tale of the Wonderings and Wanderings of an Indigenous Graduate Student. The Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Prosem Research Symposium 2014, Kelowna

(2014). Unpacking an Urban Indigenous Identity through Post-secondary Education. 4th Annual Indigeneity Panel, Kelowna, BC

(2013). A Historical and Epistemological Journey Through the Embodied Knowledge of Indigenous Peoples Tattoos. The Medium is the Method: Graduate Exhibition and Conference, Kelowna, BC

(2013). A Research Journey into the Heart of the Cultural Revival of Nlaka’pamux Tattooing. UBC, Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference, Vancouver, BC

(2012). A research journey into the heart of the cultural revival of Nlaka’pamux tattooing..

Undergraduate Research Awards Symposium, Kelowna, BC


Media Appearances

An Indigenous Tattoo Reawakening, Lars Krutak, First American Art Magazine Issue 13/2016 (Article)

Who Did Your Ink? Dion Kaszas looks to revive traditional methods of hand-poke and skin-stitch tattooing, Janet McDonald, Georgia Straight, September 24, 2016 (Article)

Documentary on Inuit women’s tattoos may get wider release, Kieran Oudshoorn, CBC News Jan 9, 2016 (Interview)

Indigenous Ink Festival celebrates Culture and heritage, Corazon Miller, The New Zealand Herald Nov 20, 2015 (Article)

Reviving Identity through Ink, Martha Wickett, Salmon Arm Observer Nov 11, 2015 (Article)

The World Atlas of Tattoo, Anna Felicity Friedman, Yale University Press 2015 (Article)

Tattoo Traditions of Native North America, Lars Krutak, LM Publishers 2014 (Article)

Spiritual Skin: Magical Tattoos and Scarification, Lars Krutak, Edition Reuss 2012 (Article)



Conference Publications

Analysis & Investigation of Graduate Research Projects: Proseminar Series 2014. The Centre for Social, Spatial & Economic Justice Press, Editors: Jewelles Smith and Vanessa Mitchell

Contributed a 2 page referred abstract


Artistic Group Exhibitions

2016 Earthline Tattoo School Exhibition, FINA Gallery, Kelowna, CAN

2015 Owning with the Gaze, Gallery 101, Ottawa, CAN, curator Cheryl L’Hirondelle

2014 5th annual student media exhibition Kelowna, CAN: Official premiere of my short documentary film, "Indigenous Ink."

2014 Narrated History/New Morality, FINA Gallery, Kelowna CAN

2014 Revive the Indian in the Child, Alternator Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kelowna, CAN, curator Amberley John

2013 The Medium is the Method: Graduate Exhibition and Conference, FINA Gallery, Kelowna, CAN

2012 Drawn Together, FINA Gallery, Kelowna CAN



2016 Across the Table: Cathy Mattes and Lean Decter’s Tattoo Performance, FINA Gallery, Kelowna, CAN

2015 Earthline Tattooing Action, Owning with the Gaze, Gallery 101, Ottawa, CAN, curator Cheryl L’Hirondelle

(2015) #bushgallery Tattooing Action. BUSH Gallery, Chase, CAN, curator Tania Willard



Lead Facilitator/ Instructor: Earthline Tattoo Training Residency. British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, CAN June and July 2016 (4 weeks)

Artist in Residence: Pedagogy of Place-As Principal Element of Indigenous Art, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, CAN, Aug 2015 (2 weeks)


Tattoo Conventions

2016 Calgary Tattoo and Arts Festival. Calgary CAN

2016 Edmonton Tattoo and Arts Festival, Calgary CAN

2015 Calgary Tattoo and Arts Festival, Calgary, CAN

2015 Maori, Pacific and Global Indigenous Tattoo Festival, Auckland, New Zealand


Tattoo Experience, Education and Certifications

2014 Tattoo/Drawing Seminar, Jime Litwalk and Joe Capobianco, Edmonton, CAN

2013 Painting the Portrait Seminar, Shawn Barber, Calgary, CAN

2010 Started tattooing professionally at Vertigo Tattoos and Body Piercing, Salmon Arm, CAN

2009 Started tattoo apprenticeship




Dion Kaszas © 2017

  • ...

    Joanne McLellan


    Praesent mattis massa mattis lorem aliquet suscipit. Donec at purus est. Morbi nec eros et dui tincidunt porta. Phasellus suscipit aliquam tellus, quis pulvinar nisi semper nec.