WARM artists

Bettye Olson

WARM member Bettye Olson exhibits at Coloplast. The Coloplast Corporation, a medical-technology company based in Denmark, has partnered with WARM to provide our artists with a unique opportunity to exhibit in their award-winning North American headquarters built in 2009. 

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Still in love with painting after more than 60 years, Minneapolis artist Bettye Olson, 83, is a living monument to hard work and steady vision. A pioneering feminist, Olson founded the West Lake Gallery in 1964, and the artist-run Minneapolis cooperative persisted for 20 years. Her new painting show spans nearly six decades, from her college days at the University of Minnesota (1941-1945) to her most recent watercolors of swirling ocean whirlpools. Throughout, Olson honed her own style of colorful, upbeat imagery under the inspiration of nature and the experimental techniques of 20th-century abstractionists.  (Source: Star Tribune, Mary Abbe, Nov. 2006).

Bettye is a native of Minnesota and a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received a Masters Degree in art education at the University of Minnesota in 1949. She taught art at the University of Minnesota, Concordia College (St. Paul), Augusburg College (Minneapolis) and founded the West Lake Gallery (artist-run cooperative) in 1964 where she studied art under Jo Lutz Rollins. Bettye has shown in national watercolor exhibitions and has exhibited in Sweden, Finland and Italy along with her regular regional exhibits. She served as the artist in residence at Holden Village in Chelan, Washington and her work is in the collections of the Minnesota Art Museum in Swede, Kuopio Art Museum in Finland and Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. She maintains a studio in the Dow Building in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Source: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church website, library art collection).

Bettye describes her Red and Greens watercolor (at right): “After creating flower paintings in watercolor every way I could conceive; this was a change in medium, size and abstracting the forms.”

For more information about Bettye and her artwork, visit her mnartists.org page. To see a 1965 photo of artists from the West Lake Gallery (including Bettye, she’s in the top row, middle), click this link to the Minnesota Historical Society’s Visual Resources Database.