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Oltvedt, Carl

Carl Oltvedt has been teaching at Minnesota State University Moorhead since August of 1983. He is currently a full professor in the Department of Art & Design. He has worked as a guest artist in regional schools as well as abroad at the Glasgow School of Art and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Scottland. His work has been exhibited at Groveland Gallery since 1978. Oltvedt’s paintings and drawings are included in the permanent collections of the Rourke Art Museum, Plains Art Museum, Honolulu Academy of Arts, North Dakota Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Minnesota Historical Society. He received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Fellowship in 1991 and a Lake Region Arts Council/McKnight Fellowship in 2002. His next solo exhibition is at the Rourke Art Museum in Moorhead, Minnesota.

"A significant portion of my creative work is done in direct response to the landscape. However, I do use my own photographs as supplementary reference material when issues of bad weather or the sale of the final work come into play. The landscape of northern Minnesota – particularly near Mantrap Lake, Sugar Lake and the North Shore of Lake Superior – has been the principal focus of my visual work during the past five years. Perhaps it is my northern European heritage, as I feel deeply connected to the light, textures, colors and contrasts of open and confined spaces, as well as the sounds and smells of those landscapes.

My process begins with taking walks to engage my mind and experience the environment as openly as possible. I may return to places where I have previously found subject matter, but most often I walk without a specific site in mind and will look until I am moved by the power of form suggested by a subject in a particular light. Proceeding, I begin to think of cropping and deciding on the specific shape that would best meet the needs of my expressive intent, which may only exist on an intuitive, non-verbal level. Drawing in my sketchbook with graphite, watercolor or pen/ink aid me as I move through this process. Ultimately, I strive to create a work that reflects my most intimate feelings about the experience of being in that place."


"Autumn Rhythms" 2013
oil on rag board
18.75" x 14.75"
"Cascade River Falls" 2012
12.00" x 9.00"
"Harvest" 2000
8.00" x 17.00"
"Heading Home" 2013
oil on rag board
14.00" x 18.25"
"Mid-morning Light: Spruce Creek" 2013
oil on rag board
10.00" x 7.25"
"Reach" 2011
watercolor & color pencil
8.75" x 7.25"
"Reflections" 2014
oil on panel
16.00" x 20.00"
"Spruce Creek" 2010
9.00" x 6.00"
"Spruce Creek Cove" 2012
3.50" x 5.00"
"Spruce Creek in the Shadows" 2011
oil on panel
8.00" x 10.00"

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