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Jeremy Hansen Gallery at the Herald

Pure Nebraska
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 10:26 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A central Nebraska artist has renovated the old newspaper building in downtown Bertrand, and it’s a great addition to a thriving community.

“The gallery was a project of mine, where we saw an old building, and thought it would be cool to make it into a gallery,” artist Jeremy Hansen said. “We cleared out the building, refurbished it, and put some paintings in here. I graduated from UNK in 1997, with a degree in art. We traveled all around the country, doing art festivals. We went anywhere from Miami, to New York to California. That was fun, but we were on the road a lot. About 2008, we decided we wanted to move back here to the family farm. I was still doing art shows, but our kids were getting older, and the opportunity to buy this building happened, and it seemed like a good idea to help us stay local.”

When you come into the gallery, you’ll discover it has a great interior. And it used to be home to the Bertrand Herald newspaper. “It was owned by several different people over the years,” Hansen said. “We still have some of the printing equipment on display, and there’s the history. Older people come in and tell their stories of how they worked here. When we bought the building, and remodeled it, I still wanted to keep the Herald history.” One way Hansen has preserved the history, is by using some old Herald newspapers as wallpaper on one of the walls.

It took a lot of work to renovate the gallery to its current condition. “We had to take a lot of junk and boxes out,” Hansen said. “We also had to remove a few walls. There was a lowered ceiling, which we took out. The thing that was perfect was the tin ceiling that you see in these old buildings. It was in the condition you see now. Not a piece missing. That was perfect. Other than that, we had to scrape the walls. I left some of the plaster, and allowed for some exposed brick. The floor is original. We even found printer’s ink on the floor, and oil from the machines.” Some locals say there’s even a dent in the floor where a former owner stood behind a cash register, and rubbed his foot on the ground. Hansen says he’s not sure if that story is true, but he’s been told that. The gallery also features and old-time freight elevator. “The elevator is original, and when we bought the building, it was actually completely enclosed, so you couldn’t even tell if it was here,” Hansen said.

The gallery is now used for showing Hansen’s art. But it’s also used for gatherings. There are some nice boutiques and stories in downtown Bertrand where people like to stroll and shop, and the gallery is another stop for people. Hansen says the gallery is also used for those who want to have their senior pictures taken, or FFA pictures. If you’d like to check out the Jeremy Hansen Gallery at the Herald, keep in mind that it’s typically open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. But Jeremy says just call the gallery number at (308) 991-1372, and he’d be happy to come in to town and open up.

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