Salem graphic designer wins state grant to support his work


Jane Malone made ends meet during Covid and continued to make art. His efforts have been rewarded by the Artist Resilience Program.

Salem graphic designer Jane Malone poses with her artwork (Courtesy/Jane Malone)

Salem artist Jane Malone was browsing Facebook one day when she liked a post – Oregon artists who had been through the pandemic had a chance to make money.

“We had been living off our savings for a while and I just saw the message,” Malone said. “I thought, yeah, I’m an artist and I’m resilient, so I threw my hat in.”

It paid off.

Malone was named this week as one of 485 artists in the state to win a recovery grant of between $1,000 and $5,000. Malone won $1,200 of the $2.75 million given away.

“By reaching Oregon’s artists, we know we are not only supporting these people financially, but also enabling them to pursue their creative careers and enliven Oregon’s cultural environments,” said Brian Rogers, Director executive of the Oregon Arts Commission in a prepared statement. .

The commission has partnered with the Oregon Community Foundation and the Marion L. Miller Foundation to provide grants to artists who are experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic due to loss of income or the opportunity to benefit financially from their art.

For Malone, the pandemic has hit hard.

A freelance graphic designer, Malone saw opportunities dry up quickly as Covid cases swept the state, bringing regulations on crowd sizes and events.

“I was in event promotion and then Covid hit and it was an absolute dance to stay afloat,” she said.

The $1,200, Malone said, will go to her art, which she describes as modern with a bit of a tattoo feel.

“I have a lot of thick outlines and just over saturate color,” Malone said.

Artist Jane Malone’s favorite artwork hangs above her bed in her Salem home (Courtesy/Jane Malone)

Her favorite piece? A pair of sugar skull brides standing in front of a stained glass window that hangs above her bed.

“I can’t see well at all, I’m really myopic,” Malone said. “When I take my glasses off and look at her, there’s no outline. It’s like when the rain obscures a window and all you see are the city lights.

And the city of Salem is a big part of its inspiration. After growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Malone moved to the Pacific Northwest about 10 years ago with her two children — an 11-year-old son and a 23-year-old daughter — and her partner, Roger.

“Viewed from the desert, the Pacific Northwest looks like a utopia,” she said. “It’s just beautiful. Even the air seems to have life here. It’s crazy that people grew up here and it’s like you live in paradise but for them it’s just a Tuesday.

Malone’s art reflects what she sees in Salem but can also be seen around Salem. She has a 30 x 40-inch mural hanging in the Infinity Room downtown and is set to install a Halloween installation there in 2023. She also has a booth at the Saturday Market.

“We’re the big purple tent and I could be the Saturday market sandal because I have pin-up stickers,” Malone said. “There is a certain irony with my art.”

This includes the quarantine badges she created, also available in her large purple tent, for things like not storing toilet paper and refraining from “hanging up”.

According to the Oregon Arts Commission, Malone wasn’t the only artist influenced and impacted by the pandemic.

A total of 600 eligible grant applicants reported lost revenue of $9.1 million during the pandemic.

“In times of crisis, artists help us make sense of our world and stay connected to each other,” said Martha Richards, executive director of the Miller Foundation in a prepared statement.

For Malone, she has remained connected to her art which includes screen printing – a callback to how she started with her grandfather’s photo finisher – painting, graphic design and stickers.

“I dabble in everything, just general nonsense I guess,” Malone said. “I’ve never won anything, so that was exciting.”

Other Salem winning artists included Nathan Helgeson (music), Tracie Hodgson (visual arts), Graham Middleton (music), Greg Moreland (theater) and Denise Steele (multidisciplinary). Their grants range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Contact reporter Caitlyn May at [email protected].

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