Lights Out? Thomas Kinkades Production Firm Files for Bankruptcy

Lights Out? Thomas Kinkades Production Firm Files for Bankruptcy
The production company of artist Thomas Kinkade, the sell-styled “painter of light,” announced that it is filing for bankruptcy. The day after Kinkade’s Pacific Metro firm failed to make a $1 million payment to former Kinkade gallery owners Karen Hazlewood and Jeff Spinello in connection with a lawsuit, it filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankrupty Court in San Jose, California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Pacific Metro’s bankruptcy filing marks the latest event in a series of embarrassing setbacks for the artist, whose images of snow-swept country villages, action-packed NASCAR races, and idyllic gardens were once sold at more than 350 Thomas Kinkade Signature Galleries. The number of those galleries has dwindled in recent years, and former investors have alleged that the artist lied about the financial health of his enterprise.

“Kinkade is a … deadbeat,” a lawyer for Hazlewood and Spinello told the Times. “Kinkade's word is as worthless as his artwork.” The two former gallery owners say that Kinkade emphasized his Christian faith to convince them to invest in opening a store, which later failed when they were legally prevented from lowering their prices to match discount competitors. Of course, even if Kinkade’s enterprise goes under, collectors can be comforted by remembering that his art will always live on.