Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Getting Ready For "Shared Walls"

Fox 5 News Kyle Boatwright at The Machine Shop Gallery

After a six-month stint in jail, a notorious Imperial Beach vandal has turned his longtime criminal skill into an art form.

Convicted of more than 215 counts of vandalism, Kyle Boatwright is now using spray paint to create art.

"A lot of my artwork has life experience, things that I've been through," Boatwright said. "Some pieces will look sinister and that has to do with the hard experiences to get to the point where I am now."

Boatwright started tagging the Imperial Beach area when he just 14 years old.

He was arrested in March of 2010, was in jail for six months, and fined more than $85,000 for all the damage he caused throughout his seven-year criminal career. "It's not really what I'm trying to be looked at anymore," Boatwright said. "It was a wakeup call. It's not a lifestyle I ever want to be a part of."

When Boatwright, 23, was released in August a childhood friend offered him a road towards redemption.

"We've grown up together and I've seen the good art and the not-so-good art," said Chris Clements, owner and founder of The Machine Shop, an art gallery in East Village. "I said, 'Let's stop doing it on the street and at the same time bring it into a gallery and let people see it.'"

Clements opened his art space around the same time Boatwright was getting out of jail and Clements thought it would be a good idea to feature his friend's art.

"I think he was excited to see the stuff on the walls and have people respond the way they did," Clements said.

The art was apparently received well as Boatwright said some of his art has gone for more than $400.

"I thought, 'What are you crazy?'" Boatwright said. "Just a while before that everyone was looking at me like I'm this big criminal and a bane to society."

Boatwright said he originally got into graffiti as a teenager because he found it to be an outlet for his depression and inner-aggression.

Boatwright recalls sometimes spending all night out spray painting everything from sidewalks to freeway underpasses.

"I would spend hours painting and at least that time I was painting I was happy," Boatwright said. "I really needed a way to express myself."

Boatwright said he was drawn to the public nature of this type of expression.

"There's just something really raw about it that drew me in," Boatwright said.

Boatwright said he is determined to stay away from a criminal lifestyle and will use legitimate art to rehabilitate himself.

Ever since his teenage years, through his time in jail and even now as an artist, Boatwright has owned a sketchbook with many drawings that he bases his work from but the book also contains four words he is trying to live his life by: Do the right thing.

"I'm just trying to change my life and it means a lot to me," Boatwright said. "I constantly tell myself, 'Do the right thing.'"

Boatwright has put much of his work online.

Boatwright is scheduled to have a live show of how his work is produced at The Machine Shop. The show is set for Friday.
Copyright © 2011, KSWB-TV

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Union Tribune Kyle Boatwright Press

I.B.’s prolific tagger, transformed
After serving jail time for 218 cases of vandalism, 23-year-old is taking art classes, selling his work

By Wendy Fry

Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 12:01 a.m.
Kyle Boatwright, who lives in Coronado, started tagging on public and private property when he was 14. After an 11-month investigation led by a sheriff’s deputy, Boatwright was arrested in March, then released in August. Earnie Grafton • U-T

Kyle Boatwright, who lives in Coronado, started tagging on public and private property when he was 14. After an 11-month investigation led by a sheriff’s deputy, Boatwright was arrested in March, then released in August. Earnie Grafton • U-T

IMPERIAL BEACH — Sitting in a trendy Pacific Beach bar, discussing his paintings prominently displayed behind him, Kyle Boatwright talks about transformation.

Last summer, the tagger was sitting in a cell at the George Bailey Detention Facility in Otay Mesa after pleading guilty to 218 cases of vandalism and agreeing to pay $87,000 in restitution. Imperial Beach officials called Boatwright the most prolific tagger their city had seen.

Now his art is selling for more than $400 apiece and is showing at venues such as the TapRoom in Pacific Beach and the Machine Shop Gallery in East Village.

“He’s obviously really talented,” Machine Shop Gallery owner Chris Clements said. “Having a show and having his artwork be so well-received was just a push in the right direction to give him some confidence and keep him going.”

This time last year, Boatwright, 23, who lives with his parents in Coronado, was busy spray painting everything from buildings and sidewalks to freeway bridges under the moniker “Slow.”

He would often visit his work, mostly large cartoonish characters with exaggerated, colorful features, and watch from afar as city workers removed it.

“There were a couple times when I got pretty angry about them taking it down,” Boatwright said. “I liked putting a message out on the street and just seeing how people would react to it.”

Authorities weren’t pleased. Sheriff’s Deputy Zheath Sanchez, who led an 11-month investigation that included Imperial Beach Public Works Department staffers, said Boatwright’s efforts showed artistic skill but were nonetheless vandalism.

Soon after he was arrested in March, Boatwright found himself scribbling on scraps of paper in his jail cell.

“You know, I’d always heard all the stories about how bad it was in jail and everything. It was actually worse than anything I’d ever heard,” he said.

Boatwright said he began tagging public and private property when he was 14 to deal with depression.

“I had this incredible self-hatred that was really dangerous and destructive, and I couldn’t shake it,” Boatwright said. “I’m not sure even how it started it, but it just continued to get worse.”

He said he became addicted to tagging. Sometimes he would spend all night painting graffiti.

“And then I’d lay low for a while. And it kind of went on like that for years,” he said.

After pleading guilty and getting released from jail in August, Boatwright vowed to clean up his act. He began taking classes at the San Diego Art Institute last week. Today, he paints on a more traditional canvas. People are taking notice.

“He shows quite a bit of promise as a young artist,” said Jim McMillan, who with his wife bought Boatwright’s first piece on canvas. It looks like something you might see, well, on a freeway sound wall.

“We were quite taken with this one particular piece,” McMillan said.

Boatwright said his work represents “the craziness of living in the city and trying to bring art into the city and just trying to bring a little color.” His piece, “Hindsight,” a swollen purple and blue eye oozing with regret, reminds him of the fights he experienced in jail.

Boatwright has sold six pieces.

“Actually selling a piece and having it on a wall somewhere is really gratifying. It’s not getting painted over a couple weeks later.”

To see some of his work, go to


wendy.fry@uniontrib.com (619) 293-1743 Twitter @WendyFry

See the full article and video of Kyle Painting at The Machine Shop here: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/jan/22/ibs-prolific-tagger-transformed/

"Shared Walls"

The Machine Shop Gallery has a new show "Shared Walls" on Friday the 28th of January from 6:30p - 10:30p. Come out and support 10 local artist in a variety of mediums that will cover the gallery walls. Music by Dj Slowhand, live art by Kyle Boatwright and tables by Peter Perrecone and Urt Clothing.

Kyle Boatwright 10 News Press

Kyle Boatwright a regular contributor to The Machine Shop events and gallery shows received some great press on 10 news. Check out the link to see full article and related video. http://www.10news.com/news/26327213/detail.html?taf=sand

SAN DIEGO -- One of Imperial Beach's most notorious graffiti vandals has remade himself into a legitimate -- and legal -- urban artist.
In March, 23-year-old Kyle Boatwright was arrested and charged with 218 counts of vandalism. He had spray painted his moniker "Slow" throughout Imperial Beach. Boatwright was fined $87,000 and sent to jail.
"I just didn't realize how harsh the punishment would be," Boatwright told 10News reporter Joe Little.

Boatwright said he began tagging sidewalks, buildings and fences to escape depression and thoughts of suicide.
"I mean, I just fell in love with it just because of the way it makes me feel and the way I can just escape reality," he said.
Reality came crashing down when he was arrested. While in jail, he continued to express himself through art. Boatwright used a pencil to draw on envelopes and mailed them to friends. His fellow inmates also noticed his talents and paid him for his drawings.
"The first piece of artwork I've ever sold in my life was an envelope that I drew for a guy in there for a Reese's NutRageous candy bar," Boatwright said.
Fellow inmates paid him with bags of chips, soap and full meals -- items considered valuable in jail. Boatwright was released after six months behind bars and decided to grow his business, this time for money.
The former graffiti vandal put his spray paint to canvas and began selling them around San Diego. He has sold several of his urban paintings for several hundred dollars. He will also begin formal art training in 2011 to expand his skills.
"I thought he was talented," said Sheriff's Deputy Zheath Sanchez, who led the investigation that put Boatwright behind bars.
Sanchez tracked "Slow" for 11 months, and his arrest marked the biggest graffiti bust in the county at the time.
"If he's been able to channel his talent into positive means, I think it's fantastic," said Sanchez.
It's also great for taxpayers, as one tag can cost several hundred dollars to remove. Removing the graffiti will also be a problem for several cities in the future. Cash-strapped cities like Chula Vista are downsizing or eliminating graffiti abatement programs to save money.
Boatwright's message to taggers is simple: "If you have talent, make it work for you. Don't make it work against you."
He's also changed his moniker from "Slow" to "Sain" -- a reminder for Boatwright to stay away from his insane past and focus on his sane future.
To see some of Kyle Boatwright's art, go to www.kboatwright.com.

Urt Show at The Machine Shop

The Urt Clothing Show at The Machine Shop was a great success! We lucked out with a break in the weather and although Dougie and Ian had set up tents to protect the crowd from rain it luckily stopped the show. As the last Machine Shop Show this show has gone to The Tap Room in Pacific Beach and is featured in this months L.A.B. Thanks for coming out and go check out the Tap Room for some pizza and beer!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

San Diego Magazine "The Weekender"

Over the last year our friends at San Diego Magazine have been very supportive of all our projects. Always helping to share the word by publishing articles about Urt, Orange and Park, and The Machine Shop Gallery, this week they have continued to spread the word about the Urt show by featuring us in the weekender! Naturally the Urt show on Friday is the place to be!

The Weekender

The Artitorium Blog Post About The Machine Shop

Artist and Friend of The Machine Shop Eric Borja posted a great blog on The Artitorium about Art, Art, Drinks recently with some awesome pictures. Check out his blog about the gallery and other great art related post!

The Artitorium

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Urt Clothing Is Taking Over The Machine Shop For a Night

Friday December 17th, from 6:30p - 10:30p join Urt Clothing as they take over The Machine Shop Gallery for an ART EVENT. Featured artist include Dougie Mann, Matt Lingo, Orange and Park, Drew Mcgill, Shawn Benson, Katy Reid, Chris Clements, and Urt Clothing. Wine and Beer plus tons of fun, come on down and check out Urt's new fall collection as well as Orange and Park's new prints, and more!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Machine Shop At The Tap Room This Month

The Machine Shop Gallery opened another successful event last night at The Tap Room in Pacific Beach. L.A.B which stands for local art and beer is getting started again and will be the first Wednesday of every month. This month we are featuring Zak Ferris, Orange and Park, Kyle Boatwright, myself, DJ Slowhand on the tables and last night we even had an Urt appearance! Go check out our art which is up for the month of December! Stay tuned for January L.A.B. which will be presented by The Machine Shop and Urt once again in correlation with the Urt show on the 17th of December at the gallery and then onto The Tap Room.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Machine Shop Gallery At The Tap Room In PB

This Wednesday The Machine Shop is teaming up with The Tap Room in Pacific Beach for L.A.B. Local Art and Beer. L.A.B. takes place the first Wednesday of every month and features a variety of different art and artist. This show will feature artist from The Machine Shop Art, Art, Drinks show, including our friends at Orange and Park, Kyle Boatwright, Josue Castro, Zak Ferris, and myself. Music by DJ Slowhand all night, an art raffle and more so come join us for some art, local micro beer, and pizza. http://www.sdtaproom.com/lab

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Come check out The Machine Shop Gallery's next show on Friday October 22nd 6pm - 10pm.

Monday, September 20, 2010

October Issue of San Diego Magazine

Check out The Machine Shop Gallery color page in the new October issue of San Diego Magazine. Here is the correct version, the published issue says John Clements, woops!

Friday, September 3, 2010

San Diego Architecture Foundation "Orchids and Onions" Nomination

The Machine Shop Gallery has been nominated as an Orchid for The San Diego Architecture Foundations' Orchids and Onions 2010.

It's time again for San Diego's longest-running beauty and the beast contests -- Orchids & Onions. Since the 1970s, residents nominated the best, and worst, examples of architecture, landscapes, public art and other elements of the built environment.

The objective of Orchids & Onions is to inspire excellence in every aspect of San Diego’s built environment. By nominating what makes your heart soar, or what you see as an eyesore, you can have your say on the state of your city.

In starting to see how the economic climate is creating alterations in the way we think, plan, design and build, we’ve made an alteration to the O&O process, and added a ‘Miscellaneous’ Category. This new category encompasses everything and anything that the existing categories do not. Any nomination submitted to the Miscellaneous Category that is determined an Orchid or Onion will be recognized in a category specific to that project.

Commentary on all nominations is highly encouraged, especially from nominees. Tell us about your project. This allows the site visitor, juror and voter to learn as much as possible about the nominees. Effect change in your community. Nominate. Comment. Vote.

Show your support for The Machine Shop Gallery by checking out Orchids and Onions website and our nomination!



Wednesday, September 1, 2010

East Village Art Walk

The Machine Shop Gallery is taking part in the East Village Art Walk on Saturday September 4th from 4 - 8pm and will be open an addition 2 hours for friends and artist to stop by and see the opening show before the artwork comes down. The Map above includes all the spaces involved on Saturday, come out and support our local art scene.

Gallery Opening A Huge Success

The Machine Shop Gallery Opening from Zack Mckenzie on Vimeo.

The Photo Wall

Played Out Pool Party - Lightbox

The Crowd

Don't Feed The Bears

Local San Diego Band Joy Jamming

The Crowd From Above

Christian Ottobre Spinning Some Records Alongside DJ Slowhand

The The Machine Shop Gallery opening was a huge success with an amazing turn out. Thanks to everyone who came out to support the opening show. Check out all the pictures on www.shootnorton.com and a review of the show by our friends at Orange and Park. www.blog.orangeandpark.com.

Gallery Opening Art Work

Now that the gallery is finished and art has been up on the walls since the first show, The Machine Shop has come to life.

San Diego City Beat Press