Multi-media Artist Philip Noyed Experiments with Light, Space and Geometry

Phillip Noyed at his studio in Northeast Minneapolis.

When Brookside resident Philip Noyed was creating his Rainbow Pyramid Light Experience last summer in preparation for his installation at the Northern Spark art festival, he constructed it in his own backyard, much to the delight of neighbors and passersby.

“They loved it,” says Noyed. “My immediate neighbor came over and thought it was a great meditation space. I even had people stop their cars and ask about it.”

The self-described “geometric illumination artist” creates most of his work in his studio in Northeast Minneapolis. There, among the many colorful paintings, mobiles and sculptures that decorate the space, a large swing hangs from the ceiling. More than just a reflection of Noyed’s playful spirit, the swing invites visitors to experience his art firsthand. With the help of 3-D glasses, and the motion of the swing, Noyed’s artwork comes to life.

“For years paintings were just two dimensional and flat,” he says. “I try with my paintings to really make them pop, to have lines of energy really come forward. When you put on the glasses, [the paintings] actually become 3-D, and the lines leap out at you.”

Noyed has exhibited his work around the world, from Salzburg to New York to Wisconsin and right here at home. When I spoke to him a few months ago, he had recently returned from Art Spectrum in Miami, where he was a featured artist and speaker. He staged his Rainbow Pyramid for the event.

A Path to Light

Before Noyed started working with light, he experimented with many different mediums. After initially studying calligraphy and ceramics, he had a pottery studio for 15 years in Minneapolis. He then moved to oil painting and exhibited his work internationally. At one point he thought he might want to get into filmmaking and had the opportunity to work on the film, Purple Rain.

Noyed’s career trajectory is also one filled with world travels and personal journeys. He studied abroad in Japan during college and later returned to live and work. While in Kyoto he was a high school teacher, studied traditional Noh Theater because he was “interested in symbolist performance,” and even learned 12th-century Japanese.

Noyed moved back to the United States and eventually became a full-time creative director for a nonprofit organization, where he has worked for the last several years. “All my experiences throughout my life are my career,” says Noyed. “But then I can’t stop making things.” He dedicates as much time to his art as life permits.

Art and Healing

Recently Noyed has become interested in the relationship between art and healing. He has been featured by The Healing Power of Art and Artists, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about how art can enhance well-being.

“In Minnesota, during the long, dark days of winter, people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder due to lack of sunlight,” Noyed explains in one published article, “Exposure to full-spectrum light is an easy cure.”

Noyed is interested in creating art in hospitals or clinics, which he believes are often antiseptic. “Art doesn’t just have to be a decoration,” he says. “It can be an experience; it can be a vibrant and beautiful healing experience.”

Experience Noyed’s work (swing and all!) at Art-A-Whirl in Northeast Minneapolis May 20-22. Check his website for other upcoming shows this summer.