Kuehl’s ink pays tribute to Russian cosmonauts, plus “an image of me for when I go,” she said.
On the very day NASA landed on the red planet, Dawn Kuehl was showing off her Russian cosmonaut tattoos to me. “I’m interested in space exploration,” she said of the portraits of Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, the first man in space, and Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman, that decorate her arm. Why not American astronauts? Russians were the first, she said, adding that she has some Russian blood. She also has a sense of humor because she added a portrait of herself in space gear on the back of her arm. “Girls have to have goals,” she said, smiling.
Kuehl has been a server for 26 years, the last few months at Eastside on Washington Avenue near downtown Minneapolis.
The depictions on her left arm and legs are less about space travel and more about Russian folk art. “I’m into botany and historic floral art,” she said.