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In the Spotlight: Scenic Charge Artist Jenny Hitmar Shankland Paints an Epic Backdrop

Posted April 08, 2016 in Press Releases

Check out these pics of Jenny working on the gigantic backdrop for Show Boat, designed by Laura Carlson Tarantowski.

Jenny has been with Near West Theatre since 2002, when she dropped her resume off in Bob Navis Jr's mailbox and wound up doing scenic design for the set of Evita. Her most recent work at Near West Theatre is pictured above: airbrush and hand-painting our beautiful, large-scale backdrop for Show Boat. Jenny spent countless hours airbrushing, sketching out buildings and details from Laura's design, and filling everything in to create the incredible finished product. Her dad, Tom, often comes to help her manage the large scale pieces she paints.

Before coming to Near West Theatre, Jenny studied at Otterbein University, graduating with a Major in Scenic Design and a Minor in Fine Visual Arts. After graduation, she took an internship at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA, and soon after got work doing industrials & installations in New Jersey. After 9/11, she decided to come back to Cleveland, her hometown, to be near family.

Since then, Jenny has worked on MANY productions here at Near West Theatre, at the Cleveland Play House, and many other freelance projects. She recently founded her business, Fresco Scenic Studio, where she will be focusing on one of her favorite kinds of work: small- and large-scale interior murals. Jenny now lives in Brecksville with her husband Jody and daughters Claira (5) and Lorelei (2).

Below: watch a short clip of Jenny working on the backdrop!

In the Spotlight: Scenic Charge Artist Jenny Hitmar Shankland Paints an Epic Backdrop

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