Bergman has exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at galleries and museums in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Brussels and London. Her work is in a number of public and private collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Santa Barbara Museum and the Orange County Museum of Art. Several corporate collections hold work: The Gap, The Capitol Group, Banco di Roma and Atlantic Richfield, among others.
She was born in Berkeley, California, Cheryl Maria Olsen, grew up during the early atomic decade and graduated majoring in History from Berkeley High School in 1956. These formative years provided frequent visits to the Brundage Collection at the De Young Museum which deeply influenced her in the rich Asian aesthetic of the Pacific Basin cultures.
Initially trained with an R.N. in psychiatry during the late 50’s, she married Lynn F. Bowers, moved to Europe during the building of the Berlin Wall, gave birth to a daughter, Bridgit, and began painting full time before returning to California in 1964. Her son, Erik was born in 1965. She earned an MFA with Honors in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute under Fred Martin in 1973.
Ms. Bergman, who legally changed her name in 1988 to honor her maternal Grandmother from Sweden, was the recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, a SECA Award in painting from the SFMOMA and was included in the Whitney Biennial of American Art in 1975. She has received fellowships from the Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, the Vermont Art Colony and was invited to submit for the American Academy of Arts and Letters and most recently was awarded a residency at The Djerassi Foundation. She taught at UCB, several other institutions of higher learning before joining the University of California Santa Barbara where she remained for 18 years after which she left her tenure as Full Professor. She moved to the quiet wilderness of Northern New Mexico where she built a studio on Cerro Pedernal in the vicinity of Abiquiu. In 2006, she moved to Santa Fe.
Ms. Bergman’s work is discussed in several books, including, The Art of Engagement, Visual Politics in California and Beyond, Dr. Peter Selz, 2005, Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975, Barbara J. Love, 2006, The Reenchantment of Art, Suzi Gablik, 1991, Who’s Is Who in American Women, 1998, The Once and Future Goddess, Elinor Gaddon, 1989, Yesterday and Tomorrow: California Women Artists, Sylvia Moore, 1989 and California Painters, Dr. Henry Hopkins, 1989 (preface page.)
Bergman has delivered lectures and accepted speaking engagements throughout the United States. “Notes on a Pilgrimage to Beauty” was delivered in 1993 at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City at the opening for the conference, Transcending Contemporary Taboos: Reawakening to Beauty, Wonder and Sacred Values through the Arts. This talk is her only published writing and is included in the catalogue, Blood, Milk and Water, available from the website