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Artist Jessica Rath Shares Her Kickstarter Experience

October 1, 2013

Visual artist Jessica Rath, whose work is currently featured in the Perlman Teaching Museum exhibit “Take Me To The Apple Breeder,” will share her experiences using a Kickstarter fundraising campaign in a public lecture at 12 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3 in the Carleton College Gould Library Athenaeum.

Rath used Kickstarter to fund “Take Me To The Apple Breeder” in 2009. On her Kickstarter page, Rath explained “I need $1,500 to fund my trip to the Noah's Ark of apple orchards to sculpt some of the 2500 endangered varieties grown there. The Plant Genetics Resource Unit is in Geneva, New York. Thanks to apple curator Philip Forsline, there are over 2500 varieties of apples from all over the world growing there, in part to help diversify and possibly save the more common apples we know. I'm a sculptor. I love plants, fruits and endangered trees. This is my heaven, this orchard. Harvest is September to early October. I'd love your help to get there.”

In 13 days, Rath successfully raised over $2,000 via Kickstarter. The project resulted in a collection of high-fire copper glazed porcelain apples, as well as a photographic inventory of apple varieties. This stunning (and seasonal) exhibit, which provides an aesthetic liaison between food scientists and the public, is now on display in the Perlman Teaching Museum through November 21.

The exhibit is also the focus of a TEDx lecture and field video, which can be viewed on the artist’s website at

Based in Los Angeles, Rath has been exhibiting her sculptures and installations for over 18 years in Los Angeles, most recently as solo projects at Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles and Torrance Art Museum, Torrance. Her work has also been included in group shows at Pepperdine University, Malibu; Mak Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles; and Kellogg Gallery, California State Polytechnique University, Pomona. Rath, who graduated with an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1996, has received a Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority grant, a Metrolab Commission Grant, the Bridge Residency Award from Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA and two Durfee Foundation grants. Her work is in the collections of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles.

Founded in 2009, Kickstarter has quickly become the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. The concept is based on a “crowd funding” model, by gathering money for creative projects from the public. Projects are divided into 13 creative categories: art, comics, dance, design, fashion, film and video, food, games, music, photography, publishing, technology and theater. Since its launch, Kickstarter has helped to sponsor over 107, 000 projects with over $717 million in funding pledged. For more information, visit

This event sponsored by the Carleton College Department of Art and Art History. For more information, including disability accommodations, contact College Curator Laurel Bradley at (507) 222-4342. “Take Me To The Apple Breeder” is currently on display in the Weitz Center for Creativity’s Perlman Teaching Museum. Directions and museum hours can be found at

The Gould Library Athenaeum is accessible via Highway 19 in Northfield.