James Memorial Art Center
“Put A Bird On It”
Ali LaROCK & Paul Noot
April 1-30, 2014
The exhibit, Put A Bird On It, features a variety of bird themed art by Bismarck artists, Ali LaRock and Paul Noot. Each piece of art featured in the show has a bird on it in a variety of styles and mediums. The title of the show was inspired by an episode of the popular television series “Portlandia” in which the characters go into a store and ‘put birds on things’ to make them more hip and sellable. Noot, and LaRock, both bird lovers, thought it was a fun idea for a show and they began their bird pieces, each drawing on different personal inspiration.
LaRock’s inspiration for her bird pieces comes from her personal life and human interaction. She uses birds to symbolize these interactions, ideas, and feelings. Noot’s take on the theme is shaped by his North Dakota roots. He also looked at birds that had a kind of spirit toward him and a spirit in general about the human condition.
LaRock and Noot, both artists living and working in Bismarck, North Dakota, are part of the group of artists who founded the Bismarck Downtown Artist Co-op in 2012. LaRock received her BFA in painting from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and works as a teaching artist in area schools and through organizations such as North Dakota Council on the Arts, Sleepy Hollow Summer Fine Arts program, and the International Music Camp. Noot received his MFA from Brooklyn College in New York. He has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks. Noot is the chair of the Visual Arts Department at Bismarck High School and teaches classes at Theo Art School, Sleepy Hollow Summer Fine Arts program, and Continuing Education classes for the University of North Dakota.