From 2006 - 2015 I ran an alternative music venue, cafe and bar in Birmingham, Alabama called BottleTree Cafe with my brother, Brad Challiss, and my partner (now ex-partner), Brian Teasley. We were very much rooted in the culture and spirit of the DIY world...and true to DIY form I spent most of those years working very long hours and wore many, many hats. Many many people in our community shed sweat, blood and tears with us on our 10 year journey (including the year we spent opening the club).
In addition to working all the administrative and grunt tasks - booking the club, scheduling staff, doing payroll, paying monthly taxes, booking and running events, working in the kitchen, bartending, working the door, sometimes running lights, mopping the floor and cleaning toilets at the end of the night, I also made many of the posters for our shows by hand (cutting and pasting, literally) - some of which you can see here in this gallery.
BottleTree grew from a dream in my head into a reality and was one of the hardest and most rewarding chapters in my life. I am grateful for all of the challenges (lessons), blessings and magic that BottleTree brought to my world. I actually did manage to maintain a modicum of studio practice and exhibit during this ten year chunk of time, fitting in an hour here and an hour there, but once BottleTree closed in March of 2015, I made a vow to the universe (and a recommitment to my practice) to make art every day.. and so far (writing this is 2018) I have made art almost every day.
To find out more, just google us...