About the Artist

Pamela Gaard, b. Minneapolis,1955

My early interest in visual mediums was first influenced by my family’s work with a variety of textiles and tailoring. I was surrounded by colorful fabrics, thread and buttons from a young age, and the influence of textile arts has been and continues to be felt in the patterns of my paintings. My formal arts education began at The Minneapolis College of Art and Design; earlier work bridged painting and sculpture using found objects including vintage textiles, toys, beads, ribbons, bedsprings, and other detritus not generally included in what has traditionally been considered “legitimate” art.

Completing my degree in Public Health resulted in a position as a health scientist. For the past decade, I have worked in the large vibrant Somali immigrant community in Minneapolis -- teaching about health and wellness, and learning from my Somali neighbors -- beginning with their cuisine.

My abstract and language-based works explore time and memory through color, form and movement. These paintings and collages are meditations on everyday life - recording emotions along with specific joys/anxieties, humorous and/or desperate situations. These mnemonics serve as a way to re-remember my life. My paintings are an invitation to find the sacred within each moment and in each breath.

Some portraits of elders were made with the assistance of interpreters. My portraits of various community members are intended to focus a positive spotlight on each individual— and to create healing dialing, dispel some of the misconceptions and misunderstandings toward our immigrant communities; and ultimately create a more loving and resilient society.