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Photography studio, artist marketplace to open in Duluth's Lakeside

The Duluth Studio Market will cater to local artists, with an emphasis on veteran artists.

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Stacey LaCoursiere and McKenzie Kapsner stand in the future location of The Duluth Studio Market in the Lakeside neighborhood of Duluth. (Clint Austin /caustin@duluthnews.com)

An artist marketplace and studio is coming to Duluth's Lakeside neighborhood later this spring.

The Duluth Studio Market, located at 512 N. 45th Ave. E., will be multipurpose — housing a marketplace for local artists’ work and a studio for two marketing companies. The new space comes as the marketing companies undergo rebranding.

“As photographers (and) videographers, we naturally connect in our networking worlds, with artisans, with makers,” said Stacey LaCoursiere. “It feels like a natural progression to offer marketplace. … Having this big, beautiful space feels like a little bit of a waste not to offer something like that.”

LaCoursiere is the owner and lead creative of commercial branding company of L’Co. Creative and wedding and portrait photography company LaCoursiere & Co. Soon, the two companies will be housed under one brand, The Duluth Studio Co.

The 900-square-foot space Lakeside space is over 100 years old. Renovations include new flooring, a fresh coat of paint and new ceiling tiles.

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This is the third time LaCoursiere has moved her business — and it's hopefully the last.

“That's what you do as a business owner,” she said. “Your business grows and you have different needs, and you just kind of gotta move and grow with it.

And having a Lakeside location has always been LaCoursiere’s dream, she said.

“It just felt like ... the right fit for this community — to add value to it and not compete with it,” she said.

A hangout nook and shelves full of local artists' work — like pottery, jewelry, children’s gifts, illustrations, local apparel and more — will take up the front of the building. This space will likely open by June.

The back half of the space will be used for a photography studio made up of sound booths, photography backdrops and special lighting. The studio will hopefully open within the next two months, she said.

After renovations, the clean, Scandinavian-themed marketplace will have an extra emphasis on veteran-made art. LaCoursiere, a veteran herself, said creating art is a “second life” for some veterans.

“When you're in the military world, you're always told what to do and just get exhausted by it,” she said. “A lot of them might be working through PTSD or health issues. And being an artist is a way to help work through that."

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So LaCoursiere wanted to give back to veterans by offering them a space for their art.

One of the artists with products in the Studio Market is McKenzie Kapsner, a friend of LaCoursiere.

Kapsner is excited, she said, as it will be the first retail location selling her pottery and jewelry. She also helped LaCoursiere find the space, something the two have worked on for several years.

“It’s been in the works, in a way, … for quite a while,” Kapsner said. “The universe is finally coming together.”

LaCoursiere’s plans for the space extend beyond the studio and marketplace. She wants to interact with the community, potentially by holding an open studio day or sidewalk sales.

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