Lemon Street Gallery & Artspace Announces New Director

Lemon Street Gallery & Artspace Announces New Director

Lemon Street Gallery & Artspace has announced the appointment of Shelby Nesmith to serve as director. For 20-plus years, Lemon Street has served as a community-oriented cooperative of artists. Its main goal is to provide juried venues for our artist members to exhibit and sell their work. The broader mission of LSG is to offer quality visual arts education and opportunities for member artist development and to support community enrichment programs and advocate for the arts in cooperation with other organizations.​

Shelby, having served in a key marketing and community engagement role for the past two years, has been responsible for bringing the gallery’s message to the community and forging new connections with other non-profit groups, schools and change agents. In her new position, Shelby will oversee all day-to-day operations and management of the gallery, artist-member communications and further community engagement.

Shelby’s efforts have led to additional new classes as well as increased participation in existing classes.

“We couldn’t be happier to have Shelby accept this position,” said LSG board of directors president Jake Hoey. “Her success in building new relationships in Kenosha and with other arts groups helps serve the membership, and it helps keep Lemon Street connected with the broader community.”

Shelby replaces longtime Lemon Street director, Beth Dary. “Beth was the steadying leader that helped keep LSG going strong during the difficult times during and immediately following the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said LSG board past president Rex Davenport. “Many non-profits, especially those with a public presence suffered tremendously during the pandemic.”

“Beth, as an artist-member had a strong connection with her fellow artists. She was also a trusted source of guidance both artistically and on business matters for members.”

Lemon Street Gallery is open Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is also open by appointment. For information about individual artist members, programs, events and classes, visit lemonstreetgallery.org

Shelby Nesmith, Director of Lemon Street Gallery & ArtSpace
(262) 605-4745 • Shelbylemonstreet@gmail.com
Lemon Street Gallery & ArtSpace is located at 4601 Sheridan Road
Follow Lemon Street on Facebook & Instagram
Listen & subscribe to The ArtSpace Podcast

 Let’s look back at this 2022 Downtown Kenosha Magazine interview w/ Shelby Nesmith.

We sat down with the Development Coordinator of Lemon Street gallery & ArtSpace, Shelby Nesmith to find out what’s going on at “Kenosha’s best” art gallery.

Q. How did you get involved at Lemon Street Gallery & ArtSpace?
Shelby: I was at the first-ever Kenosha Art Market after graduating from UW-Parkside. Beth Dary saw my artwork and asked if I would be interested in teaching a bookbinding or printmaking class at Lemon Street. I said yes and taught at Lemon Street for about a year until Covid. The break from teaching showed me how passionate I am about the art community, so I asked if I could do more. I started as an administrative assistant and soon became a Development Coordinator.

Q. Your official title at Lemon Street is Development Coordinator, Can you tell us what that position implies?
Shelby: I help with fundraising/event planning, donor/membership retention, and marketing.

Q. What are your short and long-term plans for Lemon Street?
Shelby: My short-term plan for Lemon Street is to help the gallery re-establish its footing since covid has shaken the foundation of not just the arts but the non-profit sector as well. My long-term goal is to bring Lemon Street from a level of maintaining and surviving to a level of thriving. I aim to show people how valuable art is to the community and what role Lemon Street plays in that.

Q. Any aspirations to one day take over the Executive Director position?
Shelby: At this moment, no. I feel that I am still learning about the non-profit world and how I fit into it. But maybe someday?

Shelby & the lovely Beth Dary

Q. What are some of the new improvements you have already made for Lemon Street?
Shelby: I have helped the gallery with visibility by getting us involved in community events, updating our online/social media presence, and streamlining gallery operations.

Q. With Lemon Street being a non-profit organization, How can people help to keep Lemon Street funded?
Shelby: People can help out in so many different ways! You can attend our events, purchase art from our artists, sponsor programs/events, volunteer, or make donations.

Q. Can you walk us through a typical day at Lemon Street?
Shelby: I usually start the day off by making a pot of coffee as I turn on all of the gallery lights and take note of the art that is currently up, making sure everything is just how we left it. In between art sales, I get to answering emails, talking with artists, laying out graphics, and planning for upcoming events. For me, arranging the new art for our quarterly changeover in the main gallery is my favorite day.

Q. What do you love about working for Lemon Street Gallery & ArtSpace?
Shelby: When I was teaching, I got to see people fall in love with the same medium that I fell in love with. I got to see people’s faces light up when they stood back and saw their masterpiece. I got to see people truly challenging themselves and thinking outside of the box. I saw how valuable art education is, and I would have never been able to see that without Lemon Street reaching out to me, a freshly graduated art student.
After a year of working as a Development Coordinator, I saw the passion, love, and support for the arts and our art community that Lemon Street provides. This gallery has become my second home, and I hope that you can see the value in this place as much as I have.

Q. What can you tell us about the art classes that are starting back up? And how can people sign up?
Shelby: We are slowly releasing classes, so right now, we have our core classes: painting, ceramics, and stained glass. We have some fun workshops lined up for the future, and we are excited to release those. To see what classes are currently available and to sign up for a class, you can always check our website, LemonStreetGallery.Org.

Q. Who is your favorite local artist? And what is your favorite kind of art medium?
Shelby: My favorite local artist is such a difficult question! It would be a tie between Carley Duchac-Lyons with her surreal, stoned accented ceramics and Jill Zgorzelski with her illustrative, grunge painting style.
I love mixed media, but if I had to choose one medium, it’s printmaking. The labor of carving away an image creates a connection with the artwork. I also love the range of textures that you can achieve and you can print on almost anything. Push the limits

Q. Thank you for your time and I personally look forward to what you will bring to Lemon Street in future, anything you’d like to say that i may have left out?
Shelby: Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the arts during the pandemic. From donating to sharing a post, it is all so important
Keep an eye out for an upcoming podcast about the art community called The ArtSpace Podcast, starring Jake “The Weather Guy” Hoey and me!

Lemon Street Gallery & ArtSpace is located at 4601 Sheridan Road
Follow Lemon Street on Facebook & Instagram
Listen & subscribe to The ArtSpace Podcast

Follow the Downtown Kenosha Magazine on Facebook & Instagram 
For everything Kenosha see visitkenosha.com

(This article first appeared in the Downtown Kenosha Magazine Winter Vol. 15 #1 2022)
Q&A and pics by Donny Stancato
Edited by Jason Hedman

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