Eastwood Gallery: Built From a Garage Sale

For Cameron Quintal and Brian Smith, creating one of the most respected Arts and Crafts galleries in the country was not what they had originally intended.

Like so many Arts and Crafts collectors, by the year 2000 their separate collections had grown to the bursting point. Cam and Brian had heard about each other through mutual Arts and Crafts friends, and had each attended the annual Grove Park Inn Arts and Crafts Conference in Asheville. Soon after they met, someone brought up the idea of holding a garage sale to shed themselves of some of their extra pieces.

“There were actually four of us wanting to sell some of our stuff,” Cam explained, “so we decided we had better get a larger space. Next thing we knew, we had rented a building at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and were contacting other Arts and Crafts friends and dealers we had heard about.”

That September they organized what has since become known across the country as the annual Twin Cities Arts and Crafts Show and Sale. Their 14th show will again be held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds this September.

The response of the people of Minneapolis and St. Paul to their first show prompted the two organizers to begin discussing the idea of opening an Arts and Crafts gallery in the area. Before long they had rented a small space, which soon led to their present gallery on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul. All the while Brian and Cam had each maintained their regular jobs, but it soon became apparent not only that the gallery and annual shows could free them from those responsibilities, but that their Arts and Crafts business would require their full time attention.

In addition to running their own gallery, maintaining a booth at Midtown Antiques in historic Stillwater, selling through other Arts and Crafts shows, and organizing the annual Twin Cities Arts and Crafts Show, in 2006 Cameron (pictured) and Brian introduced the annual Chicago Arts and Crafts Show as well. Held on the campus of Concordia University in River Forest (near Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Oak Park), the 8th annual show and sale will take place on the weekend of June 1-2.

One glance into their Snelling Avenue gallery will reveal the affinity both Cameron and Brian have for Arts and Crafts furniture, as they have numerous examples from the workshops of Gustav Stickley. L. & J.G. Stickley, Charles Limbert, Lifetime, Stickley Brothers, and others. In addition, they have gathered art pottery of Teco, Weller, Rookwood and Roseville, woodblock prints, paintings, stained glass windows, and metalware from a wide variety of workshops, including their area favorite, the Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis (1904-1918).

“But its all still fun,” Cam explained, “and that is key. We’re both doing something we truly enjoy doing.”

For more information on the Eastwood Gallery and their two Arts and Crafts shows, please go to http://www.EastwoodGallery.com.

To learn more about the Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis, click on “Archives” below (May 9, 2011 issue).

– Bruce Johnson

Upper photo: Eastwood Gallery at 404 Snelling Avenue, St. Paul, MN.

Lower photo: Cameron Quintal, co-owner.