The Artist & her Art
is counted among the most
influential Minnesota artists of the twentieth
centur . An Abstract Expressionist, she helped
shape the landscape of Minnesota's art scene as a
working artist and a teacher.
Born in 1923, Bettye's long and extraordinary career-she is still painting today-began in Taos, New Mexico, in 1946, where she trained with modern artists who were changing the course of artistic expression. Bettye was in a unique position to be influenced by art movements as they were occurring.
Returning home to Minneapolis, she continued
her studies at the University of Minnesota, where
she accepted a faculty position. Influenced by such
storied artists as Josephine Lutz Rollins, Eleanor
and Walter Quirt, Clement Haupers, and Cameron
Booth, she developed a style that has been com-
pared to both Van Gogh and Emily Carr.
A wife and mother in the 1950s, she continued
her work in an era that encouraged conformity;
the idea of a pursuit outside of the home was
nearly anathema. Bettye simply took her family
with her! The title of her book, PERSISTENCE
OF VISION, speaks to her unwavering commit-
ment to her art, surmounting roadblocks that
would have stymied the faint-of-heart. Bettye
Olson's works now reside in private collections,
museums, and galleries around the world.