2012-07-20 / Community

Rockaway Native Opens Manhattan Photography Exhibit

By Alana Wilson

Above: Lakin (center) with Rockaway teacher Norma Allende (left) and Wave Publisher Susan Locke (right). Below: Examples of Lakin’s work. Above: Lakin (center) with Rockaway teacher Norma Allende (left) and Wave Publisher Susan Locke (right). Below: Examples of Lakin’s work. Rockaway native Mark Lakin opened his new photography exhibition, “One Life,” last week in a pop-up gallery in Manhattan’s West Village.

The exhibit documents Lakin’s recent travels through five continents as a travel guide for the group Could You? which organizes poverty immersion expeditions for select wealthy Americans in order to promote global social awareness. Lakin was a high-profile corporate lawyer until 2010, when he left the profession behind to pursue photography and what he describes as “thought-provoking travel.”

He recently launched his own travel company, Epic Road, with cofounder Marc Chafiian (www.epicroad.com). The company provides unique opportunities combining luxury adventure travel with firsthand experiences in the areas of humanitarian work and conservation. “Epic Road is a new company that brings all of my loves together and allows me to give the personal transformation to others that travel continues to give to me,” he explains. “What makes Epic Road special is that we pair adventure with meaningful educational and philanthropic experiences led by conservationists, scientists and reputable charities. While on safari, you can visit a local orphanage, break bread with a local tribe or visit micro-finance projects. It is our hope that through exposure to the planet’s great treasures, our travelers will truly appreciate their majesty and value their preservation and conservation.”

Lakin’s photography spans five continents and several dozen countries, documenting tribal culture, animal migration, indigenous fashion, native dance and local architecture. Recently, his primary focus has been on social cause photography in an effort to raise awareness of worldwide humanitarian issues. He has a coffee table book coming out in the fall documenting AIDS orphans and child-headed households in South Africa, which he shot with English photographer John Ross for The Lonely Road Foundation (www.thelonelyroad.org). Born and raised on Rockaway’s Beach 140 Street, Lakin describes his upbringing at the beach as central to who he is and his life’s path. “I think that in Rockaway, the beach is the place where we all dream. Growing up in Rockaway made me a real dreamer. I just think that it is a really whimsical and special place to grow up.”

The exhibition will be updated periodically and continue through the fall. The gallery is located at 750 Greenwich Street and is open daily noon to 10 p.m.

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