The Local Exchange: Duluth shop showcases hundreds of regional crafters
DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - You do not have to look very hard to see the Northland’s natural beauty.
Between Lake Superior, the North Woods, and lots of wildlife, local artists often take inspiration from their surroundings.
The Northland’s natural features serve as the theme for Two Loons Gallery and Boutique located in Duluth’s Lincoln Park Craft District.
Joel and Lori Baird started Two Loons with the goal of giving local artists a space to showcase their work.
“It really offers a wide variety for gifts and home decor,” Joel said.
The store carries a little bit of everything.
“We have jewelry,” Lori said. “We have pottery. We have artwork. Woodworking. We try not to have our artists competing with each other too much. We try to keep the blend really nice.”
The Bairds opened the store in 2017 with items from ten different crafters.
Now, four years later, they are partnered with 185 different artists.
“We love working with the different artists,” Lori said. “It’s just so fun. They’re so creative. We throw out suggestions and they take our suggestions and run with it. They just bring new things all the time.”
Artists like Aaron Kloss relied on Two Loons during the pandemic to sell their work when trade shows had to shut down.
“I had heard a lot about Two Loons from other artists in the community, and Duluth has a really vibrant arts scene, and a lot of the artists just talk to each other, and people said ‘Hey, go check out that shop Two Loons,’” Kloss said.
Kloss paints from memory and takes much of his inspiration from nature.
His paintings are made with singular brushstrokes using bright colors on a black canvas.
Out of 185 crafters, Jeannie CastonguayKennedy is number 15.
“It’s a lot of fun,” CastonguayKennedy said. “It’s exciting. It’s exciting that my creativity is being encouraged and pushed by Joel and Lori. I’m doing things that I probably would not have done because of their pressure.”
CastonguayKennedy does stained and fused glass artwork.
She sells exclusively at Two Loons.
The Bairds continue pursuing their goals every day by encouraging artists to be creative and connecting them with the community.
“People come in and they see different stuff all the time,” Lori said. “It’s just been such a joy.”
Two Loons Gallery and Boutique is located at 2025 West Superior Street in Duluth.
They are open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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