Photo: William Hurst
Shawna Gilmore - May 2019
The Unnamed mural at Love Creamery is another interior gem in the Lincoln Park mural story and artist Shawna Gilmore sums up the project thusly: “Murals are amazing”.
The Love Creamery ice cream shop opened in the summer of 2018. In 2019 owner Nicole Wilde’s dream of having a mural in the flagship store in Lincoln Park came true. “The first time I saw Shawna’s work was in a gallery in Lakeside. I fell in love with her art instantly. I knew Eddy Gilmore (Shawna’s husband) through the food world and I asked Eddy if he would approach Shawna about designing an art piece for the store. She said yes and set off to create a piece reflective of the Northland, the diversity of our neighborhood, and was something both kids and adults could get into,” said Wilde. “I also wanted to support a woman-owned business and artist. And of course, it had to have ice cream.”
Gilmore was up to the task. She said “it was terrifying” because she had not done this type of project before. She appreciated the direction Wilde offered because it gave her a good jumping-off point, but also appreciated that Wilde trusted the vision.
“It was fun to paint”, said Gilmore. She created a magical, vintage-inspired world with wildlife and people of all ages enjoying ice cream, but also reflected her belief that “every idyllic scene needs some tension”. “I want to bring joy, but I also like including grumpy people to capture realness. There is a child that is uncertain – ‘is this for me?’ and one who has dropped their cone.” All of these images exist in a world where animals co-exist in a peaceable kingdom that sparks stories.
The original piece was roughly 3’ x 4’, which was created in Gilmore’s studio. The Lincoln Park-based JS Print Group enlarged the image which was transferred to a wall vinyl with a matte laminate which was then applied to the wall opposite the counter. In order to properly scale the image, the wallpaper version ended up being taller than the wall, so the top few feet were removed. Wilde is saving that piece for possible installation elsewhere in the storefront.
Gilmore credits the artist community at the Duluth Art Institute’s Lincoln Park building for encouraging her to do art professionally. “It’s a great space and such a cool place to get group critiques.” She feels it is a point of pride to walk among the Duluth community’s unique vibe.
“Culture tells us a lot of narratives, but we can write our own stories. I would love to see ten more murals and coat the area with stories. You can fight negativity with truth – this is how we can make change.” – Shawna Gilmore
Photos: Nicole Wilde, William Hurst
Love Creamery, 1908 W Superior St (indoor mural at Love Creamery)