For Memphis artist Ken Lecco, giving back to local charities has been part of his art career since he first began more than 15 years ago. From the very beginning, he has donated his custom works of art to charitable auctions in order to raise money for great causes including March of Dimes, Hope House, Make a Wish and Hope Lodge. After watching two good friends die of cancer, he developed a particular passion to use his art to help bring hope and peace to those suffering from cancer. That’s why, when West Cancer Foundation moved into its new offices, he was more than willing to create and donate a beautiful one-of-a-kind work of art to grace the lobby.
The 50 x 50 abstract work of art for West Cancer Foundation is a mixed-media piece in cream, onyx, gray and white resin and acrylic with 14K gold mixed throughout. The shapes and design are in relief, protruding out from the canvas, a process that requires the resin to cure for 10 hours when it is manipulated and then cured for another two hours.
“I’m so honored to be part of the West Cancer Foundation mission,” said Lecco. “My hope is that my art will bring peace and harmony to those who may be going through a tough time.”
The piece is fittingly titled “Harmony.”
Lecco’s realization that his art could help raise money and awareness for charities was a revelation that has fueled his commitment ever since. Years ago, when he agreed to create art for the Wings Gallery at West Cancer Clinic, one of his friends who was dying of cancer suggested he spend time in the waiting room to get a sense of the space and the people who were there being treated for cancer. It was life changing. Spending time there before he made even the first brush stroke gave him inspiration that brings tears to his eyes even today.
“I’ll never forget sitting in that waiting room. It was New Year’s Eve, and I had plans with friends to celebrate that night,” said Lecco. But sitting there, seeing these people and trying to imagine what they were going through was very emotional and very powerful. I canceled my plans for the evening so that the power and passion I felt wasn’t diminished in any way and so that I could fully grasp the gravity of my mission.”
His mission to create beautiful art and donate select pieces to benefit charities is a little different career path than how he started out. After graduating with a Business Administration degree from the University of Memphis, he landed a good job making good money at a rental car company. He quickly moved into management making even more money, but he knew something was missing.
Lecco began dabbling in art, teaching himself technique and experimenting with various artistic approaches. It soon became clear he had found his calling, so he resigned from the 9-5 business world to become a full-time artist and hasn’t looked back since.
“I knew that I was missing something that would bring more meaning to my life and work,” he said.
We’re so glad his mission has led him to West Cancer Foundation and that his inspirational art is bringing harmony to all who see it. To learn more about Ken Lecco’s art, visit his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ArtByLecco/