Crowdfunding Platform Kickstarter’s New Arts Director Wants Galleries to Get in on the Action, Too

Meet Patton Hindle, the new director of Kickstarter's arts program.

Patton Hindle. Photo: Sean Fader.

Kickstarter has appointed Patton Hindle as its new director of arts—and she has big plans for the crowdfunding platform’s future.

Hindle, who was previously the director of gallery and institutional partnerships at Artspace, will be tasked with helping artists and cultural institutions realize ambitious ideas through Kickstarter. In the past year alone, the site has helped fund outside-the-box projects ranging from the restoration of Jim Henson’s puppets to the construction of an art center in the West Bank.

Now, Hindle—who is also a partner in the Lower East Side gallery yours mine & ours—wants to use her commercial experience to bring emerging galleries onto the platform.

“I know that artists often have to make compromises at early stages of their careers to make ‘sellable’ work for their gallery exhibitions,” she says. “While that’s what allows the gallery model to carry on, I’m interested in exploring the modes within which Kickstarter can collaborate with artists to help them have an experiential or less commercial aspect to an exhibition within the gallery model.”

Art has been a major growth area for Kickstarter: In the start-up’s first year, projects in the category received an average of only 17 pledges per day. Eight years later, art projects recieve around 600 pledges daily, according to a spokesman.

Hindle succeeds Victoria Rogers, who stepped down as director of arts in June to attend business school.

Kickstarter’s new direction may also help dealers reach a broader audience, Hindle notes. Art enthusiasts who do not have the cash to buy a bona fide work of art (yet) might find that contributing to Kickstarter is a gateway drug that leads to collecting.

“We’re at a unique time in the art world where funding is tight and galleries are closing and everyone is more open to collaborating and experimenting,” Hindle says. “Galleries fundamentally support artists from the ground up and Kickstarter is invested in seeing more art exist in the world.”

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