Beth Bergman ’73

2014 Distinguished Citizen

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Raised a Presbyterian, Beth Bergman found at Macalester a shared commitment to community. A studio art major, she credits her professors with teaching her how to see. Now she combines those interests as the owner of Wet Paint Artists’ Materials and Framing nearby on Grand Avenue.

After a short stint balancing art and the corporate world, Bergman began working for Hugh Huelster ’74 at Wet Paint. In 1984, she bought the store and began developing it into the landmark it is today.

Wet Paint serves professional artists, art students, and enthusiasts who crave the satisfaction of creating. Her extensive inventory of 35,000 different art materials astonishes experienced retailers, as well as the budding entrepreneurs who seek her advice.

A 2013 Star Tribune article wrote of Bergman, "Her longtime support of Twin Cities artists, work with local independent business groups and leadership in the industry’s national trade group have made Wet Paint one of the most widely known and wellrespected independent art supply retailers in the country" That trade group, International Art Materials Association, last year named her to their Hall of Fame.

Bergman has served on the boards of the Minnesota Museum of American Art and the Grand Avenue Business Association, and is a longtime supporter of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and the Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Minneapolis. She was a founding member of both WARM Gallery, (Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota) and Metro Independent Business Alliance in the Twin Cities.

An active alumna, Bergman has chaired her Reunion committee, organized Reunion art shows, and hosted dinners for first-year students. She has been a valuable consultant and a generous donor to the renovation and expansion of Macalester’s new studio art building.