Booze and body mods

Science of tattoos, taboos and more at Boonshoft

By Lauren Adams

Wine? Check. Hors d’oeuvres? Check. Tattooing and makeovers in a science museum while drinking wine and eating hors d’oeuvres? Check.

On Feb. 27 the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will deliver it all with the Eureka!: Sip, Savor, Science event. The experience will give guests the opportunity to sip, savor, and learn all about the history and science of body modifications. In true Boonshoft fashion, this event will be interactive and allow guests to participate in various learning experiences. Their website describes this event as “an adult evening in the museum.” This is the first year for the Eureka event, and it is replacing Boonshoft’s Science of Wine fundraiser.

The event will give adults a chance to have a relaxing, entertaining, educational evening. Kristy Creel, Director of Marketing and Public Relation for the Dayton Society of Natural History says, “The change [from the previous fundraiser] was designed to take advantage of the resources of the Museum, and create an event that aligns more closely to our mission of education, while still providing an entertaining evening for supporters.”

According to its website, Boonshoft’s mission is “to be the premier regional provider of interactive science learning experiences which enrich the lives of children and adults, enhance the quality of life in our community, and promote a broad understanding of the world.”

The Sip, Savor, Science event will certainly utilize a great deal of the museum’s resources, and will allow guests to have an interactive experience while learning more through presentations on everything from bodybuilding to plastic surgery. In addition to enjoying food and drinks, guests will also get the opportunity to hear live music, and “explore the science, history, art and culture of body modification,” says Creel. There will be something for everyone at this show, and the museum will be fully accessible during the fundraiser.

In addition to participating throughout the evening, guests are able to participate even before the event. Guests can register online prior to the event, and they can also purchase raffle tickets for various locally inspired baskets, including a yoga basket, a UD First Four basket, a distillery and brewery basket, golf basket, a family membership to the museum and a Laura Mercier makeup basket.

Also, for a small fee, guests can vote on which tattoos local personalities receive live throughout the evening. For $5 per vote, participants can choose from three designs for Chuck Vella (Vella Inc.), Amelia Robinson (, and Vivienne Machi ( During the fundraiser, they will all be inked by artists from the Truth and Triumph Tattoo shop. In addition to seeing a live tattoo session, participants will also have the opportunity to “explore the science behind ‘bad tattoos’ in [the museum’s] Do Lab and participate” according to Creel.

The body modification theme came about while planning the program because the team noticed the examples of body modifications in different cultures, past and present, are aplenty.

“In looking at the Museum’s Collection (which is comprised of 1.7 million artifacts and specimens in total), the concept of body modification can be found in many cultures,” explains Creel. “From foot binding and tattoos to piercings and lip plates, there are many fascinating examples that provide a glimpse into cultures from around the world. While modern body modification practices are considered by some to be taboo, providing a glimpse into these cultures demonstrates that these are not new concepts.”

The body modification theme seems particularly apropos because of where we are as a culture right now. There is so much focus on striving for perfection and presenting our best selves whether it’s on social media, in front of other people and even in front of the mirror when we’re alone. People transform themselves in small ways like applying makeup every morning; they transform their skin by applying permanent makeup and tattoos, and even transform their gender. We transform ourselves in ways that we often don’t even notice, and as technology and sciences gets more sophisticated and advanced, we’re able to push further and change more ourselves and the world we live in as a result. Physical transformations have been happening for centuries, and Eureka!: Sip, Savor, Science will give people the opportunity to learn more and look at this phenomenon from a scientific lens.

Eureka!: Sip, Savor, Science takes place 7-11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, 2600 DeWeese Pkwy. in Dayton. All-inclusive reservations are $90 for each non-member guest and $75 for each member guest. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit or call 937.275.7431.

Reach DCP freelance writer Lauren Adams at


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Reach DCP freelance writer Lauren Adams at

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