Clement Bernard Haupers was the first recipient of MTP's "Minnesotan of the Year" award. A native Minnesotan, he is recognized for his facility with color, a reputation that was perpetuated in the work of his most famous student, the flamboyant colorist Leroy Neiman. Although Haupers never reached the level of recognition that Neiman achieved in the 1970s, he nonetheless built a solid reputation as one of the premier landscape painters of his home state.
Haupers studied in Paris with the Cubist painter André Llote. Haupers works shows the strong influence of Llote's style and perspective. Upon completing his studies in France, Haupers returned to Minnesota where he became an influential teacher at the St. Paul School of Art, specializing in several media including painting, printmaking, and sculpture. He rose to prominence in 1935 as the state and regional director of the New Deal’s Federal Art Project in Minnesota, which hired unemployed artists to decorate public buildings and parks.