A six-month test drive

By Alyssa Firth

Lansing Art Gallery lets customers lease artwork before buying

Eyeing an original piece of art, but not quite sure if it’ll look right in your home or office? Lansing Art Gallery is hoping to help solve your dilemma this month.

At least 43 pieces by Michigan artists will be featured in a month-long “Lease/Purchase Exhibition.” From March 1-23, the artists will make their work available to be leased out to any interested buyers, whether they’re looking to own or not.

“Most people who are leasing want to get a feel for the artwork — what it´s going to be like in their home or office,” said Catherine Babcock, executive director of Lansing Art Gallery. “We always have artwork for lease, but what we´ve done is expand that with this collection.”

While other galleries do lease artwork, they don’t necessarily lease for purchase, according to Babcock.

The leasing is based on a monthly payment, which is generally around 10 percent of the artwork’s value. The art can be leased for up to six months, and the client must decide at that time whether they’d like to purchase the work or return it to the gallery.

“It´s kind of like a layaway, but you get to have it the whole time,” Babcock said.

Lease payments can be applied to the purchase of the item.

How many of those leasing eventually decide to buy the piece? “Probably about 99 percent,” Babcock said.

Lease/Purchase Exhibition

March 1-23

Lansing Art Gallery,

119 N. Washington Square, Lansing

Reception 2-4 p.m. Sunday, March 4

(517) 374-6400