Carl Oltvedt Reflects on his Teaching Philosophy

“Spring Arrival,” acrylic, by Carl Oltvedt

“Spring Arrival,” acrylic, by Carl Oltvedt

“I am an artist and I am passionate about what I create in my studio work.  I am a teacher and I believe wholeheartedly in sharing what I know; part of the sharing is passing on knowledge, technical expertise and hopefully inspiration that being an artist is not only possible, but vital: vital to the next creator and also to those who experience what she/he has to share.  I often go to museums to visit “old friends”, which is a phrase coined by a dear friend and mentor of mine, Eric Erickson.  With each visit, the work has not changed, but I do; I see new relationships within the work and within myself.  I see strength and courage that I can lean on when I doubt or question myself in terms of direction.  Doubts and questions are a constructive part of growth where you look back within to find your path.  Hundreds of students have been in my classes during my career and I am proud to have had the opportunity to be a guide during part of their lives; becoming a professional in the arts is a difficult decision and path to follow, but seeing it as possible is imperative.  I have thirty-five years of full-time university/college level teaching experience and an additional six years of part-time teaching experience as a graduate TA and in community education. “

Carl Oltvedt works full-time as an artist in a variety of painting and drawing media. He retired from Minnesota State University Moorhead in May of 2015, where he was a Professor in the School of Visual Arts.  He continues to teach workshops and short-term classes in the region.  His work has been exhibited at Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis since 1978.

His paintings and drawings are included in numerous public, corporate, and private collections.  He has completed commissions for corporations and private collectors including Cargill Corporation, Minnesota Mutual, Securian Corporation, Microsoft, and the Laske family.  He was a recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants in 2014 and 1991, and a Lake Region Arts Council/McKnight Artist Fellowship in 2002.