- November 4, 1919 - November 7, 1995
Minn Sjolseth was born on November 4, 1919 in Oksendahl, Norway. Sjolseth started to draw and paint in early childhood, and began her formal artistic training in Norway and in Germany where she studied the Old Masters. In 1953, Sjolseth emigrated to Canada and continued her studies at the Regina School of Fine Arts with Kenneth Lockheed. She also studied graphic art at San Miguel de Allende Art Institute in Mexico.
Sjolseth settled in Vancouver, BC in 1957, where she opened a commercial gallery and began her career as a portrait artist. During this time, she also had two children, Laila and Fred Johnsen. In 1967 she closed the gallery and focused her artistic practice on documenting Indigenous peoples and their cultural productions in a realist tradition. In 1968, Sjolseth married the photographer and journalist Anthony Carter. Out of their travels to First Nations communities along the coast of British Columbia and Alaska throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Sjolseth produced a number of landscape and portrait paintings as part of her "North West Coast Native" series, while Carter undertook work for his books. In 2009, the Kamloops Art Gallery held an exhibition entitled "Somewhere Between" which explored Minn Sjolseth's and Anthony Carter's artistic partnership during this period.
In 1974, Sjolseth had the opportunity to travel to Arctic Norway and work with the reindeer-herding Lapps (also known as Sami people) to create a series of paintings called "Reflection of Lapland" which was shown at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, among other institutions. In July 1977, she was selected as the only professional artist to be a member of the media accredited to the visit of H.R.H The Prince of Wales to Southern Alberta to commemorate the Centennial of the signing of Treaty 7. Sjolseth's work has been exhibited in juried group shows in Canada and the United States, as well as international solo exhibitions. Her paintings are in several international collections, including the collections of the Crown Prince Harald of Norway.
Sjolseth and Carter moved to the Kamloops area of British Columbia in 1980, first living at Pinantan Lake and later at Lac Le Jeune. She continued painting, creating the "British Columbia Interior" series, while also pursuing cross-country marathon skiing competitively.
Sjolseth died suddenly in a car accident in Lac Le Jeune on November 7th, 1995.