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Community Bear - Walking


  • Harry’s Tattooing
    Boyertown Area Community


  • Harry’s Tattooing
    409 East Philadelphia Avenue
    Boyertown, PA 19512

  • BASD: Bear Fever
    Contact: Jane and Paul Stahl
    901 North Reading Avenue
    New Berlinville, PA 19545

Community Tattoo Bear: “Chip T”(Community Helps in Painting Tattoos)
Christiana Weidner

From its conception, “Chip T” (Community Helps in Painting Tattoos) has proved to be a unique bear. In a happy alliance between the Bear Fever Committee and Harry Nichlas of Harry’s Tattoos in Boyertown, this walking bear is the epitome of the mission of the Bear Fever project: community cohesiveness.

“Chip T” is co-sponsored by Harry’s Tattoos and Bear Fever. Harry is a tattoo artist by day and husband and father of two little ones by night. For 15 years, Harry has been painting and designing tattoos in his own shop on East Philadelphia Avenue. He started small, but over the years the shop has been grown through the community’s realization of his professionalism. Harry’s #1 goal for his shop is to provide a “safe and clean tattoo.”

Harry’s energy and enthusiasm is felt not only through his participation in the Bear Fever Project but in his work and home. He comments, “This is our lifestyle. When I am here, my life is all about being here and providing the safe and clean tattoo; and when I go home, my life is all about my kids and my wife. My business is separate from my family but they both make me happy and I love them both.”

Reflecting on his successes in life, Harry advises, “Do what makes you happy!” His goal of proving to the community that he is an asset has been reached through his hard work, determination, and dedication. Along with fellow artists, Harry was excited and ready to make his bear as special as the community to which it belongs.

The decoration of this bear was begun on March 19, 2005, at Boyertown’s first “Coming Out of Hibernation festivities. The center of attention on this day was the Odd Fellows Hall on Boyertown’s main street. In the center of the room stood “Chip T.”

Community members contributed to the decoration of the bear by painting in the lines of the tattoo pictures drawn on the bear. Four-year-olds painted along with their parents and grandparents, high school students, and professional artists.

The community’s work was lost when one of Harry’s artists left the shop, but Harry found the perfect artist Erin Wade to paint the Community Bear. Erin worked on Chip T for two year—during which time she became a mother. So, between her young daughter’s naps, she painstakingly created a bear which blends some of America’s most significant images in a unique realistic style. 

The spirit of community surfaced again when Rita’s water ice establishment welcomed “Chip T” to “live” on its parking lot. To honor their shared interest in Chip T, Harry features Rita’s on one side of the bear.

Bear Fever is proud of this bear’s work in bringing folks together to celebrate art.