Midtown: Community

Raleigh painter seeks backing on Kickstarter

Jenn Hales’ shop in City Market is filled with whimsical images: masked rabbits planning a heist at a produce store, whales morphing into skylines and an octopus spilling out of a bathtub.

“It’s inspired by the way I saw the world as a kid,” the Raleigh painter, 26, says of her work.

Hales says her paintings also explore the tension between human and animal habitats. “So it’s a little bit of an environmental message,” she said. But “mostly I just want people to enjoy it.”

The Apex native has three new paintings that she is really excited about. It takes two weeks to a month to finish one painting, because she paints in thin washes on birch panels, so the grain shows through.

The originals are hanging in her downtown shop, Patina, but she’d like to make prints, too. To help with the up-front costs, Hales has started a Kickstarter campaign.

Kickstarter is a website that allows people to pledge different levels of money to help fund a project or new business. If the overall fundraising goal is not met, the originator does not receive any of the money. Hales’ goal: $1,500 by May 7.

Through Kickstarter, contributors receive rewards depending on how much they give. Some of Hales’ offerings include prints and postcards of the three images, so she is basically preselling the prints to make them, she said.

For a $20 pledge, backers will get an 18” by 24” offset print of their choice. “I try to make art that I could afford,” she said.

Her prints will be made by Raleigh printer Joseph C. Woodard. “I try to use local folks whenever I can,” Hales said.

To learn more, go to Kickstarter.com and search “Jenn Hales.”

Staff writer Amy Seeley