About the Artist

Pamela Gaard, b. Minneapolis 1955

My artistic inclinations began early in life as I grew up immersed in the schmatte trade — two of my Eastern European (Ashkenazi) grandparents were clothing designers and makers. I stitched, drew, made paintings and photographs as a youth; but, disillusioned with arts education, I pursued higher education and a career in the sciences, following the breadcrumbs back to art later on.

My portraits are painted mainly from life, including subjects who are neighbors, friends, family, colleagues, coworkers, and other artists. Some of my portraits of elderly immigrants were made with assistance from interpreters.

My art practice investigates how we can create more empathy and understanding between neighbors and create a less divisive community. Collaborations with several other artists have enriched my studio practice over the years. I’m interested in languages -- I speak some Hebrew, Yiddish & Somali. My interest in abstraction is driven by psychology and dreams.