"Going Back Down Big Hill" (oil on canvas)©John Lackey; used with permission
John Lackey is a native of Lexington and is the owner of Homegrown Press Studio & Gallery on North Limestone at 6th Street, next to North Lime Coffee & Donuts. A painter of slightly surreal Kentucky landscapes, he is also responsible for many logos, murals, posters
and wood engravings for, among others, Wilco, Holler Poets Series, Alfalfa Restaurant, Larkspur Press, Kroger, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, and the Kentucky Arts Council.
A poet, printmaker, songwriter, painter, and filmmaker, John agrees that he perhaps wears too many hats and is getting too old for this shifting array of interests. He serves on the boards of VIA Creative and the Kentucky Writers and Artists for Reforestation. He lives in Lexington with his wife Jenny and their three sons, one of which is a black lab.
In the late 1980s John was hitchhiking around the country attending Grateful Dead
and Bob Dylan shows and festivals. Tired of being a bum, he saw people selling crappy
artwork and thought “Hey, I can do that!” He borrowed ink and paper in one of the parking lots and started drawing artistic tape covers to sell. He borrowed colored thread and learned
to weave those little hippie bracelets. Eventually, he bought a screen and some ink and started making T-shirts of his original art, buying 3 packs of white undershirts at K-Mart and printing them in hotel rooms, campgrounds, and rest areas. Homegrown Press was born.
He met his wife at a Dead show in Charlotte. He got back into art school at the University of Kentucky. Majored in printmaking. Minored in graphic design. Had kids. Was
a Cub Scout Den Leader. Coached some teams. Built things. Was the artistic director at
WDKY-TV. When he was 40, he quit that job, and quit printmaking as well, to teach himself
to paint in the back studio at Gallerie Soleil. He now has his own place. He is painting still.
All images ©John Lackey; used with permission