With two decades in the books, Art Warehouse in Chattanooga keeps framing up new plans

Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Mark, Mitch, and Leslie Lakey inside Art Warehouse on Brainerd Road.

The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered some dark times, but Art Warehouse and its customers are doing what they can to brighten things up a bit.

As more people spend their days at home, the Brainerd Road business is busier than ever, according to its owners.

"We've had a lot of customers come in to have their art re-matted or reframed," says Leslie Lakey, whose family owns the 20-year-old business. "They got stimulus money, but they didn't spend on summer camp or summer vacation. They're not eating out."

Mark Lakey, Leslie's husband, says the family closed Art Warehouse for the better part of six weeks in the spring. They reopened initially on an appointment-only basis, he says, but gradually resumed regular hours.

"I think if people see we're willing to stay open during the pandemic, they probably sense that we're conscientious about keeping things clean and people safe," he says.

"It's