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Pat Olson

Pat Olson

Associate professor of art and art history

Path to St. Kate’s: Pat was in the graphic design business for 25 years before she began teaching.

Courses taught: Art & Technology, Publication Design, Illustration, Graphic & Web Design, 2-dimensional Design, Color

Favorite course to teach: Pat loves to teach the class on color – “It’s a combination of hands-on painting and digital techniques.” It balances her areas of expertise. “There is nothing more wonderful in my mind than working with color and seeing what it can do. It is the most volatile element in design. It can be pushed around in an amazing way that is never the same way twice.”

Campus connections: Pat is the faculty advisor for the visual arts component of The Ariston, the annual arts and literature publication of St. Kate’s students.

Important influence in work: Pat was active in the women’s art movement of the 1970s as part of WARM: Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota. “[The movement] was my real graduate school. We combined art, art-making, artists, political and social change, cultural change, we were out to change the world.”

Major accomplishment: “I did a major set of panels called “The Mysteries” – a life-sized series of figures - self-portraits - that are reinterpretations of a fresco mural at the Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii. The series shows a mature woman going through an initiation rite. I did a series of paintings using the same gestures lifted from the Villa of Mysteries but on a modern, contemporary woman.” The project took three years to complete.

Summer haven: Pat and her husband keep a sailboat on Lake Pepin, just south of the Twin Cities. They spend much of the summer there.
Family: Pat and her husband have one daughter and a cat, Chin.

Education: B.A., Macalester College, graduated with distinction in art; M.F.A., visual studies, Minneapolis College of Art and Design.