arty Walker has long been prominent on the Dallas art
scene. She occupied an elegantly designed building a
couple of miles from Dragon Street long before the locale
became a trendy place to set up shop. She represented a host of
artists who proved to be blue-chip talent, but in 2013 she opted
to move on. She’s still interested in art, but frames or gallery walls
no longer confine it. She’s engaged in a new endeavor dubbed
Lonely Crates that’s on a mission to protect the environment. One
of her promotional pieces features a tagline over a photograph of
undulating terrain. It reads: “Great works of art need protection.”
This, of course, is a clever shift of focus—from nature as raw land
to making it as precious as the best artwork adorning the hallowed
walls of galleries and museums. And one—very intelligent—way it
can be protected is to reuse art crates. Thus, the idea for Lonely
Crates is not just smart, it’s great for the environment, and it allows
gallery owners to be “green” while saving hefty sums of money.
Plus, since the crates are retrofitted and customized with protective
foam, artworks arrive in top condition.
Walker says, “After years in the gallery business I became aware
of how much expense and waste revolved around art crates. Not
only is custom-crating expensive, a lot of nice crates are usually
thrown out after only one or two uses.” She adds, “Some forward-
thinking galleries and museums have taken notice. They’re ready
to start reusing crates because it saves money and space and it’s
good for the environment.” One of Dallas’s art gurus, Kenny
Goss, is enthusiastic about the idea. Says he, “I think every gallery
should try to be responsible when it comes to taking care of the
environment—and the reuse of crates is an ideal way to help us to
do our part.” He adds, “Lonely Crates helps us keep the Foundation
green, and I’m all for it.”
Walker puts things in perspective with compelling evidence.
Only 14. 1 percent of wood waste is currently recycled. That means
a staggering 13.6-million tons of wood end up in landfills. Plus, the
global art market is exploding, and its impact on the environment
due to crating and shipping is devastating. In the United States
alone, there is an art transaction taking place every four seconds.
And that’s only 21 percent of the global market. It’s abundantly
clear that Lonely Crates is emerging right on time. It’s also deftly
designed to serve huge art centers far beyond North Texas. It’s a
brilliant idea that can easily morph into a global way of conducting
art sales and shipping. After all, everyone’s favorite color ought to be
green. www.lonelycrates.com. P
WHY MARTY WALKER’S IDEA OF REUSING ART CRATES SHOULD GO GLOBAL.
BY PATRICIA MORA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY WILLIAM BICHARA
Former gallerist Marty Walker founded Lonely Crates to promote
sustainability and provide cost savings to arts professionals.