This was the second annual Babytattooville event. It's Bob Self's creation, and I don't know how he pulls these things together. The name is kinda weird as it has nothing to do with babies or tattoos (that would be an awful combination!). It's a Friday through Sunday event that took place here in Riverside at the Mission Inn. It is hard to describe, it's sort of like "hang out with artists and get art merchandise". Well, I don't care about the merchandise, I like the "hang out with artists" part, and that's what I did.
Here's the featured artists.... Thomas Han, Joe Ledbetter, Michael Whelan, Shag, Glenn Barr, Brandi Milne, Amy Sol, Daniel Peacock, Ana Bagayan, Dave Cooper, and Bob Dobb.
After an artists' introduction at the Mission Inn, everyone was shuttled over to my studio which was the secret dinner destination for the evening. Two bus loads of people descended on my workspace- holy shit were there alot of people! Pretty sure over 100 art lovers. There was beer and sodas, pizza, some fancy finger foods, tons of art nerds (and I say nerds with a lot of love), and of course all the artists. Some of the artists from last year were there along with several friends and relatives. I had a good time.
The artists started the "Art Jam", a collaborative painting to be completed by all the featured artists. This is them about to get started..
Despite the crowd, there was only one casualty- my trusty old stereo was attacked and gutted, which I wasn't very happy about. Fuck, now I gotta get a new one.
Then it was back to the Mission Inn for a figure drawing session and more painting on the collaborative piece. It's interesting to see it transform over a couple days as artists added and painted over areas.
The Mission Inn is world famous, it's a fancy old hotel and of course it's haunted. It's perfect for this art event. I've stayed there a few times but never noticed anything but definitely felt a little creeped out. Our first stay (during our wedding night no less) was in room 401, Aunt Alice's room. I found this info on the room: "Alice Miller's ('Aunt Alice') room 4th floor, south east corner. This two-level room is very active. Reports of cold spots, touches, apparitions. Strong presence of Alice." Creeeepy... then Jennifer told me she thought she saw a figure walk through our room late Saturday night.. jeeez.. We thought this hallway looked straight outta The Shining.
This is the five story Rotunda, you have to see it in person. Jennifer went to high school with a guy who fell and died in there.
Beau from Project Gallery with Tessar Lo and Nate Frizzel talking to attendee Andrew Wong.
Shannon hanging out.
Nathan Spoor and Lola. Nice to meet Nathan for the first time. And always nice seeing Lola- we went to school together a long time ago, guess we're both products of Riverside.
Dave Cooper worked on 50 drawings for attendees, he is a madman. His family was awesome! If you read this Julie, thanks for hanging out with us!
Shannon found a new friend in Jake Cooper!
Amy Sol painting with the iPod action...Joe Ledbetter and Gris Grimley putting final touches on the Art Jam....
Michael Whelan was also working on 50 paintings for attendees. He was pretty much working constantly, turning out spontaneous artistic visions. It was nice to connect with Michael, he's an inspiration from when I was a teenager and great to talk to finally.
By Sunday I was pretty tired and didn't take any more pictures, there's a new site that has more coverage from Babytattooville- Arrested Motion. It was a fun event, but as is the same with the Comicon, I feel like I need a vacation.
No time to relax in sight though- my next show is looming on the horizon. Here is a piece I'm about finished with...
Word and Photos: Jeff Soto
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