The Craniofacial Foundation of America, based in Chattanooga, Tenn., is a non-profit that supports the ongoing work of helping people with facial deformities lead normal lives. One of its biggest supporters, who worked tirelessly to help with the Foundation’s recent fundraiser, Palate 2 Palette, is Art Warehouse’s Mark Lakey. Lakey, previously profiled at the LexJet Blog, donated his time and printing expertise to help ensure a successful fundraiser.
Lakey’s role was to bring the talents of three photographers to life with more than 60 inkjet-printed gallery wraps of their work, varying in size from 24 in. x 16 in. up to 50 in. x 50 in. The images were featured as part of the event’s Gallery Walk. The photographers who donated their images represent some of the finest talent in the Southeast: Keith Mitchell, Chattanooga; Ed Rode, Nashville; and Jim Begley, Corbin, Ky.
All regular Art Warehouse customers, Lakey took his usual care and diligence in the pre-production, printing and finishing process to properly present and draw attention to their work for the Craniofacial Foundation event.
“The prints turned out fantastic. It was my first experience working with the canvas, and I really enjoyed working with it. I also preferred the satin finish for this project. Glossy is great for consumer work, but from a viewing standpoint, especially in the gallery, the satin is very rich looking. Photographers are pickiest about print quality and they were all thrilled with the quality,” says Lakey. “I’m a stickler on finishing the product so that it’s gallery-ready. When Ed Rode does a show, for instance, it’s always at a gallery. He’s got photos in The Bluebird Café in Nashville, at record studios and other high-profile spots, so my finished work has to be right on and all three photographers appreciate that.”
Lakey hand-stretched each canvas, as he does with all of his canvas work, to make sure the canvas is perfectly taut on the stretcher bars. He used three cases of stretcher bars, more than 100 linear feet of canvas and three boxes of archival matte board backing.
“I stretch with the mentality that there will be some relaxing of the canvas over the course of a few years, so I know exactly how taut to make it so that it never gets sloppy. I don’t wrap a canvas, I stretch it, which is why ink adhesion is so important to me,” explains Lakey.
More than 800 people attended the event this year and strolled through the various galleries on the Gallery Walk tour, which included the photography gallery that Lakey put together, a living gallery and a youth gallery, as well as an after party.
“The photography gallery was phenomenal this year, particularly given the photographers Mark chose to work with for the event,” says Terry Smyth, executive director of the Craniofacial Foundation of America. “It really helps get the word out, especially since he reaches out beyond the local community to other regional artists. The Lakeys put their hearts and souls into the event, and it shows.”