What do you get when you add the hippest hotel in Chicago, with the toon town world of Nina Palomba, and Bucketfeet shoes? You get a pretty dope collaboration. This, of course, is a cause for celebration.

The coolest hotel in Chicago; Virgin Hotels is back with their innovative Artist In Residence Collective with Chicago’s most colorful artist Nina Palomba. This time around they are teaming with Chicago’s favorite comfy chic shoes; Bucketfeet.

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If you remember, we caught up with Nina a while back when she was just getting her feet wet in the art scene in Chicago. Fast forward to now, Nina has launched her own business TinyTuffy.com and is taking her paint brushes and canvases to the sunny skies and palm trees of LA. Since Chicago will always have a special place in her heart, she’s not leaving without giving us a gift to remember her by. Of course, you could always venture to toon town through Nina World creations all over the city. But now she is leaving her mark with some freshly designed Bucketfeet shoes, and for a limited time, you can get a glimpse of Nina’s World in The Commons Club.

To celebrate the launch of this cool collaboration, Virgin hosted an incredibly chic launch party to celebrate the vibrant artist.  As a testament to Nina’s talent, she whipped up these creations in one day just shortly after moving across the country. In true Nina form, she goes with the flow by following her tuition, and we are just along for the ride on the technicolor journey.

Nina Palomba. Guests

Works of Nina’s were displayed throughout the popular hangout The Commons Club and guests had the opportunity to select the painting that they fancied the most. The winning creation of the 3 exclusive works would then be the inspiration for the next Bucketfeet creation.Nina Palomba3

As guests marveled at Nina’s works and voted for their faves, they nibbled on tantalizing hors d’oeuvres and  sipped on glasses of wine and Stella Artois. I typically refer to party culinary offerings as bites, but I have to give it to Virgin for ensuring that our palates were in a constant state of satisfaction with a steady stream of sensational dishes. The highlight dish of the evening was the well-seasoned lobster which had me silently stalking the server for seconds.


This was the perfect setting for our guest of honor Nina Palomba who mixed and mingled with friends and guests inside the plush shag room. The art-filled room was an idyllic scene for strangers to become friends as they engaged in lively conversation with one another. While there was much to talk about in a room full of creatives, it was Nina’s works that had everyone buzzing.


In a hidden corner of The Commons Club, art perusers came across a cheeky yellow post-it left by one of the whimsical characters of Nina’s world.  The secret note entitled “Yes Please?” reads dinner at 7. As party-goers move towards the main dining hall on a hunt for the mystery dinner date, there lies a painting entitled “Love Drug” with a happy-go-lucky dog enjoying the company of a blonde bombshell. However, this date appears to have a third wheel with a cunning rabbit under the table with the mystery note in hand. According to Nina, the rabbit will continue the cycle and ask his own special lover on a date. Guess we’ll have to wait and see what Nina paints next to see how the story ends.


As the party continues in walks the painters muse Miss Tosh who is the clear inspiration for the blonde bombshell in the painting.

It was a night of art and fun as we had one last hurrah with Nina Palomba in her world of color.

This painter may be taking her paint brushes and canvases to sunny LA, but we can always count on Nina to add a dash of color to Chicago.

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You can still vote here for your favorite Nina Palomba design to be turned into a Bucketfeet creation so go ahead and vote now! And be sure to stop by The Commons Club to see Nina’s works in person.

Good luck to Nina as she paints her way throughout LA. Be on the lookout because I’m sure that this is only the beginning of her toon town world domination.

All photos provided by Virgin Hotels