The rotating BIPOC artist gallery at our West 7th store continues this summer with a new local artist, Nou Yang. You can purchase her paintings through the end of September, with 100% of proceeds going directly to the artist.
“I am a refugee Hmong woman; I was born in Laos and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. For the last 20 years, I have been living in South Minneapolis about one mile from Minnehaha Falls and the Mississippi River. I consider myself a community leader, youth worker, advocate for equity and justice, lover of nature, adventurer, and life-long learner. Since I was young I have always had a deep appreciation for art, but felt that it was something to be admired from afar. My mother, a master at paj ntaub (traditional Hmong embroidery), tried to teach me basic cross stitch, but my fingers were stiff using the needle. Oftentimes my threaded designs came out too loose or too tight. When I was in art class in high school, the people I drew looked wispy and unrecognizable. I compared myself to others around me and for a long time kept art at a distance.
It wasn’t until the confluence of the pandemic, killing of George Floyd, racial uprising, losing loved ones to COVID-19, and being unemployed for the first time that I began to explore new ways for healing. During this journey, I discovered that nature and painting brought me a lot of joy, expanded my energy, and regrounded my spirit. Painting has been a wonderful way for me to slow down and express myself.
My artwork is nature based and an attempt to capture the places I have visited, a moment in time, and the feelings that nature evoked in me. It became a tool to creatively incorporate play, color, and nature in my life. I am learning to let go of self-criticism, focus on what is inspiring me, and trust the brush. I still have a hard time calling myself an artist, but I have come to accept the artwork I produce. I hope that my story can encourage those who don’t consider themselves artistic to explore painting as self-expression and for healing. All of my paintings are done with acrylic on canvas.”
See more of Nou’s artwork on Instagram @nouperspectives.
Are you interested in being a future featured artist?
We’d love to hear from you! We are accepting applications on a rolling basis.