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Monday, March 5, 2012

A Slice of Kenosha's Lemon Street Gallery

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Each month, Kenosha's Lemon Street Gallery (4601 Sheridan Road) features artists selected from the gallery's nonprofit, co-op membership. An accompanying reception is known as “Second Saturdays”—the next one takes place March 10. Among the three featured artists is Lemon's executive director, Melanie Hovey, who informed me that gallery sales run from $50,000-$60,000 yearly, with a major portion going back to the exhibiting artists. Lemonstreetgallery.org will give you the membership details. Frankly, I was surprised that sales are so strong.

If you journey south, don't expect to discover an architectural wonder with moving parts; rather, expect a venue that modestly serves the community with a variety of exhibitions and various art classes. A mélange of diverse items, priced from $5-$2,000 and produced by persons ages 87 to 23, is displayed in an old brick building that houses rental units that support the gallery's expenses. In many ways it reminds me of an early version of Walker's Point Center for the Arts in Milwaukee, or any number of spunky galleries in Riverwest. The DIY space could use a curator, but perhaps that would defeat its populist persona. It would take it to a level more akin to institutionalized art, and from what I saw, that isn't part of the overall mission.

The drive to Lemon Street Gallery is worth it, if only to view a magnificent oil painting (Masque) by Chicagoan Paul Weber—it's as beautiful a work of art as any I've seen in my long career, and by far the best work in this gallery. While you're in the area, visit the Anderson Arts Center and Carthage College's H.F. Johnson Gallery of Art.
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