Knowing Your Neighbors: David Austin Gallery

DULUTH, Minn.–“It was the next day,” said Marketing Director for David Austin Gallery and wife, Kristen Austin.

“Was it the nest day? We’re coming across the bridge from Wisconsin and I think we look at each other and said we’re going to move here,” said Artist David Austin.

Originally from Boyne City, David Austin didn’t feel like Michigan fit into his style as an artist. But he thought that clash of Duluth’s industrial architecture and its scenic views were a natural fit for his style and artistic expression.

“I mean you can’t deny the influence of this area between industry, you got nature, you got the amazing people here,” said David. “I think I woke up one morning and I just said ‘Hey, Duluth.'”

“You got a very vibrant community in the middle of both things and how does that interplay with our daily lives and his artwork and just our general outlook on life,” said Kristen.

David’s work aligns with the art movement called abstract maximalism, which aims to speak narratives in an abstract, yet aesthetically pleasing way. The Austin’s found success in being a creative duo, with David being the artist and Kristen taking on the challenge of being his content manager.

“I am a web developer by trade,” said Kristen. “Social media was sort of new to me. I had like shoved it away, but I saw value in sharing his insight, sharing what he had to share with the world through social media. So then I decided that it was time to take it serious.”

Together these creatives fostered over 20 thousand followers on Instagram and nearing 8,500 on Tik Tok. However, it’s more about spending time with each other and their shared appreciation over art rather than recognition.

“It’s been important to me,” said Kristen. “I get to spend more time with my husband and we get to create together.”

David Austin’s work can be found around town, such as hanging on the walls at Zeitgeist and Amity Coffee. But one of their biggest installations were for Merry Kiss Cam, in which David had a total of 13 artworks displayed.

“We built this gallery basically, this high end gallery for one of the main shoots in the Greysolon,” said David. “That was phenomenal and then to see it produced and the work up there in a major scene was really, really neat!”

This wasn’t the first time David’s work was showcased in a movie. But the Austin’s are hoping to be involved in future productions that make their way to Duluth.

“It’s a lot of fun to do that,” said David. “It’s been a crazy year.”

To follow David and his wife Kristen, check out their website for more information on their artworks and upcoming shows.

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