Paul Noot received his BFA from the University of North Dakota and his MFA from Brooklyn College in New York. Noot grew up in the Valley City/Marion area of North Dakota. Paul has worked with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, and North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks and is currently the head of the Visual Arts department at Bismarck High School. He also has taught classes for Sleepy Hollow Summer Arts, International Music Camp, Theo Art School, Bismarck Downtown Artist Cooperative and Continuing Education courses for the University of North Dakota. Noot is a founding member of the Bismarck Downtown Artist Cooperative where you can find his art and at Gallery 4 in Fargo.
Paul has exhibited in the region and is the recipient of several art awards. In 2002 he was awarded the Citation Award from Bismarck Art & Galleries Association, in 2004 the KXMB Spirit Award, and 2005-06 the Golden Apple Award, and in 2009 the BAGA Volunteer Award. He was a winner in the Millennium Art Trail Project in 2002, and the Lewis & Clark Banner contest in 2003. Recently he was awarded the 2017 ND Governor’s Award for the Arts in Art Education. Paul has been in several regional art exhibits and his work is in public and private collections. In 2013-2014 Paul’s art was part of an exhibit called, Put A Bird On It. This exhibit also featured art by Ali LaRock. Recent commissioned work can be seen at the Pirogue Grille, Bismarck, and a two-hundred-foot mural in Valley City and a mural in Bismarck’s art alley. He also painted a horse for Easter Seals of North Dakota, a mini-bus for American Cancer Society of North Dakota, and a child statue for Manchester House of Bismarck.
Dakota Noot is a Los Angeles-based artist and curator. He uses drawings, paintings, and installations to create animal-human hybrids that explore rural yet fantastical identities. Originally from Bismarck, North Dakota, he continues to show in both North Dakota and Los Angeles, including solo and two-person shows at Highways Performance Space, MuzeuMM, and PØST. Noot has exhibited in group shows at Charlie James Gallery, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Torrance Art Museum (FORUM. 2019; MAS-ATTACK, 2016), and LAST Projects. His series of cutout drawing-installations have been shown at LA Freewaves, Cerritos College Art Gallery, and Otis College. Noot graduated with a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of North Dakota (2015) and an MFA from Claremont Graduate University (2017). He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Oxnard College and Orange Coast College. Along with Christopher Velasco, he co-founded the nomadic curatorial project Scream Queen. He was the key artist for the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival.
The past year I have spent time reflecting on my art that I have produced in the last 10 years. Where do we come from? What are we, and where are we going? In those ten years my art had become a mix of styles, moods, and was in a state of flux. Meditations, my family, environment and the inner self became a focus on the pieces. My work is always rooted in ND with contemporary tendencies. Birds, Bees, and butterflies frequent my work as I am environmentally conscious gardener.
The human spirit, wildlife and the ND landscape are the central subjects of my newest pieces. Symbolism is also a major component in my thoughts and the design of my art making. It is personal and universal at the same time. I use segments of nature, ornamental architecture and the human body to evoke a visceral response that leads to an emotion reaction. The more traditional pieces are like studies for the more surreal/abstract pieces and the use of color allows expression to take on a different mood.
My new work is a mix of ingredients that have been put in the blender and the outcome is an eclectic flux of art. Mammals of western North Dakota play an important component in my art as I am constantly studying an observing their habits and how they have been changed or modified for the needs and wants of human activity. My work is about creating a dialogue between myself, the artwork, and to the viewer.
There is nothing plain about the Great Plains. Rural life can be fantastical and vibrant, which I reflect with fluorescent and metallic colors. I specifically use farm animals, pets, and insects from my background in North Dakota. The animals, like the people, have distinct personalities and a sense of humor. Although I have moved away from North Dakota to Los Angeles, California, I continue to draw inspiration from where I came from.
I want to explore the connections between animals and humans, but also the links between urban cities and smaller towns. My body of work exists in dialogue with both my current home and my former one in North Dakota, which should never be overlooked.
Ultimately, humans are animals. My work collapses and blends the differences between species, fusing animals with the human body. This process can be comical or violent, verging on mutation or caricature. I want to bring out the animalistic or primal nature of humans, as silly as that can be. On the other hand, assigning human-like qualities to animals gives them empathy beyond eating them. My work plays out like fantasy or science fiction stories, bringing North Dakota and its animals as main characters who won’t be sidelined.