Before taking on the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in St. Paul, the 331 Club and Sheridan Room in Northeast, and (briefly) Como Dockside, Jon Oulman, restaurateur, was Jon Oulman, gallery owner. The first Jon Oulman Gallery opened in 1983 on 7th Street in downtown Minneapolis. In 1986, he moved to the Wyman Building and stayed into 1999, a period that spanned the glory days of Warehouse District galleries. From 2003 to 2008, he had a gallery in the Keg House on 13th Avenue.
Starting in 1983 with an exhibition of photographs by his friend Erik Hanson, Oulman expanded into painting, sculpture, works on paper, music and performance. When he no longer had a gallery, he hung John Bowman’s “Crossings” on a wall at the 331 Club and left it there. Writer Andy Sturdevant calls it the city’s “most beloved artwork.” Oulman also hung art in the Sheridan, the Amsterdam and the Dockside.