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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hassan Nor, a nomad, pastoralist, farmer, and tailor, began to teach himself drawing almost 60 years ago while growing up in Jubaland, Somalia. None of his art survived the journey to Minneapolis in 2002, but Nor has been productive ever since, as evidenced by stacks of drawings made on paper rolls purchased at the Dollar Store, which he flattens by storing them underneath couch cushions.

His art, drawn from memory, depicts a Somalia when life was peaceful, food plentiful; and dwellings, food vessels, chairs, clothes, and shoes were all hand crafted. The first public display of Nor’s work, ever, was last month on a storefront window in downtown Minneapolis as part of Made Here, a project of Hennepin Theatre Trust.

The Third Place is honored to present Nor’s first indoor gallery exhibition, curated by Pamela Gaard, with intergenerational performances featuring Nor as story teller and poems by Aisha Mohamed (his granddaughter) and Kaaha Nasteexo.

Kaaha Nasteexo is an artist and organizer, who uses poetry as her main means of artistic expression. She hopes to help others use their art as a way to stifle systemic oppression, and that first means figuring out how to do that herself. She is inspired by the legacy of Somali Literature, the strong women she was raised by, and the conditions that she grew up in. She is an eager high schooler looking for change and learning.

Aishah Mohamed, age 15, uses poetry as a way to bring awareness on Black Lives Matter and social issues. “I am inspired by what I saw and still see growing up. Also inspired by my religion to speak about it in a form of poetry. Looking for change and peace in communities, religions, and schools.”

Nor’s artwork will be for sale at affordable prices with 100% going to the artist. Thanks to the Awesome Foundation for their support of Hassan Nor!