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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 2015, where he was a Professor in the School of Visual Arts. He has also 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 Scotland.
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, a Lake Region Arts Council/McKnight Fellowship in 2002, and a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant for fiscal year 2014.