Hassan Nor’s drawings depict a utopian vision showing peace and abundance from his memories of home, and also occasionally the tragedies and struggles that he remembers as well. He draws on life events including his journey to America, and his new life here. His romantic vision shows men and women in relationships and families; often he has a story to tell along with the drawing.
Pamela Gaard met Adeer (Uncle) Nor in 2013 through his daughter, Farhiyo. The meeting was arranged by her neighbor, who realized Pamela's long-standing engagement with the Somali community in Minneapolis through her work in public health and the arts. Pamela and Nor had many hours of meetings to discuss art and work toward his first public exhibitions of his drawings -- with the assistance of interpreters, including his daughter and mutual bi-lingual friends from the community.
Pamela introduced the art of Hassan Nor to Wing Young Huie, who then gave up some space in his gallery so he could show his work to the public for one evening. This event took place at Third Place Gallery, Minneapolis, in the Summer of 2016. It was a family affair and Farhiyo prepared beautiful and abundant Somali food, and his granddaughter, Aisha, read her poetry.
Also at this event, Somali-Swedish writer, Awes Osman, read in English and Somali from his latest novel.
Thanks to Farhiyo, Awes Osman, Halwa Hussein, and Ahmed Ismail Yusuf for their assistance interpreting to help create the event.