The corner of 414 Main Street in North Loup, Nebraska is one full of rich history and commerce. The historic building was originally a bank in 1912. By the 1930’s, it became part of the postal system, serving as North Loup’s post office until about 2000. It also served as a dwelling, photography and antique shop and office space and is now the site of Main Street Gallery which has become a destination for visitors near and far.
A few years ago, a group of local artisans, the Artissimo’s Art Club, was searching for a meeting space and location to display their members’ creations. Recognizing the building’s availability and its prime location on Highway 11, Bud and Betty Carlson’s idea for Main Street Gallery came to be in November 2014.
Main Street Gallery primarily displays local artwork. The majority of their artists live within 50-60 miles of North Loup. The quaint, warm gallery also carries collectables and small gift items.
Their artists keep them supplied with art work of all kinds, colors, sizes and types from jewelry to photography, from restored furniture to hand-painted purses. Owner, Betty Carlson states, “You really must see [the gallery] to appreciate the talent from our area.”
In addition to the regularly displayed items in the gallery, Main Street Gallery also hosts special art exhibits including the recent showing of local resident and artist B.J. Axthelm’s work as well as the traveling ANAC (Association of Nebraska Art Clubs) exhibit. Main Street Gallery also takes part in the annual Nebraska Grown Arts Festival, featuring various art forms including performing, culinary and fine art.
When asked about the importance of buying local and supporting the local community, Carlson responded, “By shopping and working with local businesses we are all pulling together to keep building on the lifestyle we have come to appreciate in this part of Nebraska.” Betty believes the more we support and shop within the local community, the more we will have available to us in our area.
Get a sneak peak of what Main Street Gallery has to offer by visiting their Facebook page or website before visiting the gallery in person. With the holidays coming up, you’re sure to find unique, local creations for your friends and family, all while supporting local artists and a local business endeavor.