Each year Freedom House, a homeless shelter and family resource in Green Bay, Wis., holds a fundraising event to help support the work of the organization. Last year, photographer Mark Hawkins captured images throughout the facility, beautifully illustrating Freedom House’s good works and the families it serves.
Hawkins printed dozens of images and mounted them in a modern bare-metal-and-cardboard style, inspired by Chase Jarvis’s Seattle 100 project. The images were used to create the “Gallery of Hope,” a stunning collection on display during the annual fundraiser.
This year, Hawkins worked with Lydia Davison, Freedom House’s volunteer coordinator and Gallery of Hope chair, to take the event’s gallery to a new level. “We worked with four photographers who spent the majority of the year taking pictures of our families, the house and more,” Davison says. “We really wanted to make a visual impact and show that our families are just like you … they just need a hand up right now.”
After the photographers shot their images and the event committee chose those to be presented, Hawkins used LexJet Sunset eSatin Paper 300g to print enough photos to create five 20-foot-wide galleries to be displayed in the ballroom at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay.
“Pre-printing and pre-hanging and pre-organizing everything was the key to a better night for everybody this year,” Hawkins says. “We had 30 percent of the prints done far ahead of time, which made it such a wonderful experience.”
With two rolls of 44-inch-by-100-foot LexJet Sunset eSatin Paper 300g donated by LexJet and his Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8400 44-inch printer, Hawkins was thrilled when the very last print finished literally on the edge of the roll. “When it fell into the basket, there was just the cardboard roll left on the printer,” he recalls with a laugh. He says the eSatin is the perfect choice for this project.
“The profiles are dead-on,” he says. “With the satin look, the black-and-white and color images really pop. It also sits well on the cardboard — it’s definitely the right media for the way we display it for this gallery.”
One aspect of printing for the gallery that Hawkins learned from last year: He could print at standard 200 dpi resolution, and still get excellent results while using a lot less ink. “Last year I printed at full 300dpi and used way too much ink,” he says. “At 200 dpi, the print quality looked great. It’s the type of gallery where people look at the images from 8 feet away, and no one has their nose right up to the print.”
This year’s Gallery of Hope raised $57,000 to help with Freedom House’s operating expenses and to support the development of a new resource and care center for families. Attendees were able to purchase any of the prints on display.
“Each year I think we get better,” Davison says of the gallery fundraiser. “The big prints are so impactful.”