in the restaurant


“So many levels and layering to this massive work… And the messages it communicates add a certain magnitude of significance to the urbanized/socioeconomic imagery being conveyed… Your narrative finds a way to breathe life into your work and your work impresses upon those thoughts and wisdom via your own signature color schemes and unique artistic structure that you cultivate as your own niche.”


I am a career artist living and working in Duluth, Minnesota. My work is a reflection of the amazing scenery and culture that this city offers. Humanity, Industry and Nature in cooperation and conflict are the staple themes of my abstract artwork. The art in this show has all been created here in Duluth.

I earned my BFA at NMU with a specialty in ceramic sculpture. I have pieces in the permanent collections at the University of Michigan, a painting sculptural installation at the Oakwood health system in Dearborn, a large public sculptural installation at Portage Public Library, and finished public sculptures for the Battle Creek Public schools through the W.K. Kellogg Expert in Residence program. I began my professional art career designing,
building, and installing public art. I have pieces throughout the state of Michigan. Many of my pieces are also in private collections around the world. I am represented by ARDT Gallery in Southampton NY and Lizzard’s Art Gallery in Duluth, MN. I am also an Ambassador with Royal Talens art supplies and use their products in our livestream videos weekly on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. My artwork was recently featured in the movie “Merry Kiss Cam” in the gallery scenes. And will be featured as well in an upcoming film recently completed this fall.

As a recent transplant to Duluth my artwork reflects our family’s passion for becoming a part of this amazing community. The people of Duluth have welcomed us and embraced my art. We are looking forward to many years more here as our family and my artwork grows and evolves.

Be Well and #CreateWithoutFear,
David, Kristen, and Hugo Austin

in the atrium


Combining my recent collaborations with the MN DNR, the MN Pollution Control Agency, and Fond Du Lac Natural Resources, these paintings will depict scenes that address some of the ecological challenges facing animal species native to Minnesota, including large-scale loose representational work about current ecological research around MinnesotaThis installation includes conservation information and celebrates the roles these animals have in our ecosystem, the role humanity is playing in their possible extinction, and some of the hopeful things we are doing to change course.

The goal of these works is to give voice to a larger portion of a growing list of threatened and endangered animals of Minnesota, native to our area. I seek to inspire new thoughts about our actions surrounding Lake Superior and greater Minnesota. In the Lake Superior watershed of Minnesota where I live, people are acutely concerned about our relationship with water, wildlife, and the environment. By learning about and sharing this knowledge through thoughtful paintings and free community talks involving researchers, we are taking advantage of an important time to acknowledge our changing relationship to the land, water, and animals that make our area so special. 


I am a painter and muralist fascinated by the way science fiction posits a future for humanity that is transformed by major environmental changes and technological innovations. My invented landscapes ask viewers to consider unfamiliar places, such as the lines between true false, fiction and documentation, natural growth and urban development. I paint wild animals and scientific equipment to create poignant and sometimes humorous tensions between humans and the natural world.

In the early 2000’s I worked in Antarctica for the National Science Foundation where I developed my knowledge of important climate related experiments. Currently, I’m a member of the Twin Ports Art Science Collaborative so my work has been influenced by researchers from Lake Superior and the SPRUCE climate change project in the Chippewa National Forest. Now, more than ever, the implications of human actions in an ever-changing landscape are on the tip of everyone’s tongue. My recent paintings make scientific data such as this clearer and, most importantly, inspire audiences to learn what can be done to change course.

I’ve studied many of the modernist artists, especially the urban and bucolic landscapes by the Barbizon School painters and Jean-François Millet’s heroic peasant farmers. I’m also inspired by contemporary painters such as Alexis Rockman and Chris Austin whose imagery expands the conversation about important ecological issues. I’ve always had a strong interest in photography and film so the compositions of my large and medium-sized paintings are based on photographs. My studio is filled with my snapshots of landscapes, machinery and animals. I select, recompose, and paint the most interesting details so that my paintings may be comprised of more than a dozen study images.

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