Lee Hansley of the Lee Hansley Gallery in Raleigh, NC, Has Died

I received this e-mail from Mark Tulbert on Jan. 31, 2019

A Sad Day in Raleigh

Our good friend, inspiration, and eminent arts visionary Lee Hansley died of heart failure today, January 30, 2019, in North Carolina Heart and Vascular Hospital in Raleigh, NC. Lee had been hospitalized for more than three weeks and, after noble efforts by patient and caregivers alike, he died peacefully in the early afternoon.

Let us all be thankful that so many came together to support Lee, his gallery and his passion for making our homes and our communities better places to live and learn by bringing art into our everyday lives.

Thank you so much for your role in the success of Lee Hansley Gallery and the satisfaction of its owner who, you must admit, was one of a kind. We will all miss him.

Lee Hansley Gallery will be open through March 1, 2019. Lee’s personal art and the gallery furnishings will be auctioned in a few months by Leland Little Auctions. Information about a memorial service will be forthcoming.

For inquiries please contact Lee Hansley Gallery at:
Telephone: 919/828-7557
1053 E. Whitaker Mill Rd. Raleigh, NC 27604

I did not know Lee Hansley, I only met him once many years ago when I was delivering papers to galleries in Raleigh when we first started Carolina Arts in 1997. That’s when his gallery was in the Capital Club Building in downtown Raleigh. I remember that meeting due to the exchange of comments we had. I had dropped off a stack of papers on the gallery’s front desk that Hansley was sitting at, did a quick look around the gallery, and then headed out as I had many more deliveries to make. As I left he said tell Tom Starland thanks for his effort in promoting the visual arts in the Carolinas. I said thanks back and he asked if I was Tom Starland and I said I was. He then asked, “Why are you delivering these papers?” I explained that there was no one else to do it and I like seeing the galleries where they are going. I then asked if he was Lee Hansley and he replied – “I see what you mean”.

Throughout the years, I had a hard time getting the galleries and art spaces in Raleigh to send us info about their exhibits being offered there and that was the case with the Lee Hansley Gallery. Many times when they did post info about exhibits on their website, by the time I saw it our deadline had passed. In our February issue I did find current info about what they would be showing – it was “Hobson Pittman (1899-1972) and His Contemporaries” on view through Mar. 6, 2019 (the gallery will now close on Mar. 1). We even had an image to go with the gallery listing. Then after our Feb. issue was put together I see a notice that the gallery would be closing due to Lee Hansley’s health and a few days later as we’re launching that issue we receive the e-mail from Mark Tulbert that Hansley had died.

Many galleries in the Carolinas are owned and run by pretty much one person, some will have a few helpers, but most are dependant on one person. If that one person no longer wants to be a gallery owner, has a problem with their health, or runs into financial troubles – that gallery with go with them. So my message to artists and art lovers is – be grateful – very grateful to those folks who are running art galleries in the Carolinas. In many cases they are on the edge of being gone any day without your support.

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