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Former Liebermann's department store building in Lansing to become Nelson art gallery

Artwork by Leanne Schnep
Posted at 4:23 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 22:21:31-04
Artwork by Leanne Schnep
Artwork by Leanne Schnep, located inside of Nelson Gallery

A new art gallery is set to open in downtown Lansing.

The former Liebermann’s store at 113 S. Washington Ave. was designed in 1965 by George Nelson, one of the founders of American modernist design. He was commissioned by Lansing business woman, Betty Price, to design a space that would suit her family’s department store.

Jen Estill moved her business, Redhead Design, to the building's upper floor earlier this year.

But she and her husband, John Estill, felt the downstairs space was too good to go to waste. They loved art and wanted to use it for an art gallery, although the building does not have a traditional open spaces of many galleries.

“When we first bought the building, it was about walking around and living in it and understanding what would work well here and what would fit. And so this seems to be the right answer for something that's beautiful in a space that needs to be celebrated,” said Jen Estill, Nelson Gallery proprietor.

Nelson Gallery Logo
Nelson Gallery logo

To honor Nelson, they named the gallery after him and chose not to try to make the building to look like a traditional gallery. Instead they’re going to work with the shelving and utilize it for smaller pieces that fit into the space.

“I definitely think over the course of time, we will see that there are certain pieces that work really well in here that might not work somewhere else, or pieces that are perfect in a different gallery wouldn't quite fit it here,” Estill said.

Artwork located inside of Nelson Gallery
Small art pieces on the shelves inside of Nelson Gallery

The gallery will open for business on Monday. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Sunday.

The list of local artists can be found on their website https://thenelsongallery.com/artists .

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