Bridge surrounded by trees with the title overarching in a mythical world.


2024 Student Creative Showcase

East Gallery
April 13, 2024
May 19, 2024
Allyson Buetow, Savannah Franklin, Jade Lent, Caitlin O’Malley, Sofia Osterlund, Gisselle Quintanilla, Justice Randolph

April 13, 5-7 pm

St. Catherine University’s annual exhibition of student creative work is featured in Terabithia. The artist scholars describe their exhibition: “Welcome to Terabithia, a place that doesn't exist on a map but in our hearts and minds. It is here that impossibilities are made possible and dreams do come true. A place where we seek refuge in our imaginations as we cross over into a new chapter of life. We invite you to take Terabithia in your hearts when you leave. It’s mine, it’s ours, it’s yours.”

Student Artist Talks: Thursday, May 2, noon-1:15pm. Free and open to the public.
For ASL interpretation and/or other accommodations, please contact by April 24.


Allyson Buetow

I am funny, outgoing, creative, and an overall firecracker. I have been drawn to art my entire life, and my eye has always been attracted to bright colors and the type of art some may overlook. I have always wanted to have a career where I can practice my creativity and express myself. 

I focus on digital art because I enjoy being able to create fine art from behind a computer. My artistic journey is a dynamic exploration of the interplay between form and content, where every pixel, line, and color choice serves a purpose beyond mere aesthetics. Through my work, I want to share the struggle of self-confidence and believing in one's true worth. I intend for my work to help myself as well as help others.

In my design work, I draw inspiration from a variety of sources, from the clean lines of minimalist cartoons to the vibrant energy and color palette of video games. Each project I undertake is an opportunity to push the boundaries of visual storytelling, to challenge conventional norms, and open the viewer’s eyes. I aim to create work that attracts the eye, leaving a lasting impression on those who encounter it through my art. I endeavor to shape narratives, challenge perceptions, and ignite the imagination of audiences.

Making art is my safe place. When I make my pieces, my troubles in the world disappear and I feel free. Art is my escape from reality, art is my home, art is me.

Allyson Buetow is an artist living in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, and she’s currently in the Studio Art program at St. Catherine University and graduating in May 2024. Her portfolio mainly consists of digital work, including photography and graphic illustrations; she enjoys bright colors and wacky compositions, elements that may make the viewer do a double-take. 

During her time at St. Kate’s, Allyson has gained valuable arts-related experiences working with the Minnesota Women's Press (2023), the Welcoming the Dear Neighbor project (2023), The REDress Project (2023), Global Justice for Woman (2023), and Front and Center Food Shelf (2023). Her artwork has also been included in the student exhibition, Spiral: Our Creative Lives (Second Floor Gallery, Visual Arts Building at St.Catherine University, 2023). 

Allyson believes that art is an escape from reality, not just for herself but for others as well. After she obtains her bachelor’s degree, Allyson plans on working for a major company as a graphic designer and making her way up in the business while also doing freelance work on the side.

Savannah Franklin

My artistic practice mainly consists of drawing, photography, and digital illustrations. I am drawn to making images based on nature, animals, and fantasy. I do this because I have always enjoyed being out in nature, seeing animals, and reading mythology, all of which feel whimsical to me. 

When I take photos, I try to avoid disrupting my subjects, opting to use either a macro lens or a telephoto lens that allows me to capture close-up images from a distance. I appreciate seeing things in detail and observing aspects of my subject that are hidden when viewed with the naked eye. I find inspiration for my compositions when I am outside. Hiking is one of my favorite activities to do outdoors because I am surrounded by nature, with many opportunities to find animals or plants that are visually compelling through their colors and patterns. 

My drawings often consist of skulls, animals, plants, and characters. I appreciate the macabre and the darker aspects. I find inspiration for drawing through nature as well. Most of my works have some sort of nature theme in them, whether it be through small details or colors. One example of the macabre shown in my exhibit is my work, Skull with Flowers, which combines a cat skull and roses. Nature is prevalent in the works Chained Rabbit, Snake with Flowers and Juvenile Blue Jay.

I believe that art should be enjoyable and I never want it to feel like a chore. In my artistic practice, I have learned that my work thrives when I give myself space and time to rest, reflect on my ideas, and give myself a creative break. My best work often emerges when my mind is fresh. 

Savannah Franklin is a Guatemala-born, Minnesota-raised art student who makes nature-inspired illustrations and photos. Skilled in digital and film photography, graphic design tools, and visual presentation of multimedia works, her work has been published in Ariston, St. Catherine University’s annual student art and literary publication. She is graduating from St. Catherine University with a BA in Studio Art in May of 2024. Her recent career experiences include an internship with Boundaryless (Minneapolis, MN), and an agency simulation and pitch competition for young advertisers in the Twin Cities. During her internship, she created design work for Red Wing Shoes. 

Jade Lent

I am an artist who values savoring moments in time, and my work is shaped by both personal memories as well as my attempt to preserve my perspective of the natural world. I am inspired and fascinated by nature and its inhabitants. They constantly remind me of where my roots were planted when I began my journey as an artist. 

I have been enamored with the art of illustration from a very young age. This is the art form that holds deep familial connections for me. It reminds me of spending time with my cousins when we would sit at the dining room table, and draw characters from our imaginations for hours on end, and when I used to beg my dad to sketch my favorite video game characters on paper. My preferred method of creating lies largely in illustration because my love for art began at the intersection of my home and family.

My work is inspired by childhood memories of growing up in a rural area and being surrounded by the beautiful countryside. It comes from the values of wanting to protect and preserve the world we live in and the same one I grew up in. I create to evoke a sense of nostalgia while adding a piece of myself to these illustrations. In my illustrations, I am able to channel my values and draw inspiration from the miracles around me. My art is a way of documenting what I see in the world around me, while bringing awareness to the world, in hopes of protecting it.

Jade Lent was born and raised in Glenwood, Minnesota. She grew up in the countryside surrounded by many creative souls who inspired her to pursue a career in the arts. She mainly works with digital illustration, largely focusing on images of the natural world. Inspired by the rural landscape of her home, her work is a constant reminder of her roots and her family. 

Jade will graduate from St. Catherine University with a BA in Studio Art, a concentration in Graphic Design, and a minor in Integrated Marketing Communication and Design, in May 2024. Throughout her time at St. Kate’s, Jade has been an active member of the campus art community: She has been lead designer, as well as a design and jury team member, for Ariston, St. Catherine University’s annual student art and literary publication. In addition, she has worked as a Gallery Receptionist for the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery, and a studio assistant for professors Carol Lee Chase (painting/drawing) and Bethany C. Rahn (graphic design/printmaking). Jade has also been a Mellon Grant Student Assistant to continue her research for illustrating a children’s book on the subject of public health equity. She has received the O’Leary McCarthy Scholarship for gifted writers and the Peter Lupori Scholarship for Excellent Achievement in the Discipline of Studio Arts. Jade’s creative work has been featured in multiple publications, including Ariston, Minnesota Women’s Press, Voices and Visions, and an upcoming partnership with the Minnesota Land Trust. After graduation, Jade plans to pursue a career in illustration design.

Caitlin O'Malley

When I create my blind contours, I simultaneously think deeply and think about nothing at all. When working on these, my eyes follow the outline of the figure, my hands and arms move across the paper, and I usually listen to music that reflects my current mood. 

When I was younger, I didn’t really care how my art turned out or how others would perceive it—all that mattered to me was my response to the work, and how it represented me. As I got older, I started to care what people thought about my art, and because of that I only showed people my “most perfect” pieces. I didn’t want people to see the rough or unfinished pieces or parts of me. 

Through my series of blind contours, I’ve been able to have fun through my art again. I am not concerned with how others will perceive them, and I don’t have to worry about messing up a single line because the spirit of them is much more important than a single bad line. Each blind contour offers a different energy because every person and moment is different, so the feeling of them can change drastically, even if the model is the same. When creating my blind contours, I either listen to music, which allows me to channel my emotions onto the paper, or I talk with the people I am drawing. Both of these methods have a large impact on how these drawings eventuate. Some of my drawings feel very personal, because I have a personal connection with my subject, and others feel less personal, yet more powerful, because many of the people I draw have some sort of power to them. Each drawing has a different story and song behind it, which reveals itself through simple, abstract lines. 

My academic interests are similar to that of my artistic pursuits. In my research, I tend to focus on people, the art they create, and why they make the art they make. People intrigue me, and I enjoy learning more about them through their art and culture. 

US-based artist Caitlin O’Malley has been enchanted with the world of art since she was three years old. She often spent her time painting at the kitchen table and viewing art at her local art museum, exploring the various gallery rooms. As she grew older, she became incredibly interested in the study of people, making them the subjects of her artwork and the focus of her scholarship. Caitlin is working on her BA in Art History and Studio Art with a minor in English at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, and will graduate in May of 2024. 

Portraits are the subjects of Caitlin’s visual art, with her most recent series being blind contour drawings. Her practice blends confident pen strokes with a carefree spirit, with her often chatting with the people she draws. Caitlin’s artwork has been featured in many publications and exhibitions, including Ariston, St. Catherine University’s annual student art and literary publication (2022, 2023, and 2024), The Summit Avenue Review (2023 and 2024)a group exhibition with her Building a Creative Life classmates titled Spiral: Our Creative Lives (2023), and her 2023 solo exhibition The Lines that Connect Us, featuring the work she completed as part of an independent study at St. Catherine University. 

The focus of Caitlin’s art historical scholarship is Melanesian art and culture. During the summer of 2023, she was selected to intern at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Florida, to research their collection of artwork from New Guinea and assist with other curatorial tasks. Since September of 2023, Caitlin has worked as the Assistant of Collections and Exhibitions at the University of St. Thomas. During this time, she has worked closely with the American Museum of Asmat Art on a Digital Database for Asmat Art, as well as an exhibition for documentary photographer and Pulitzer Finalist, Joshua Irwandi. Additionally, Caitlin is working on her first dissertation about the Festival Asmat Pokman and how it has changed contemporary Asmat Art. Because of her work with the Digital Database and her dissertation, she was awarded the University of St. Thomas Art History Department Travel Grant to do research in London, where she will meet with curators at the British Museum and the University of Cambridge. She was also selected to speak at the SUNY New Paltz Undergraduate Symposium to present her research in April of 2024. 

Sofia Osterlund

Have you ever felt lost? What does that mean to you? 

Lost is a big word and I find myself contemplating it almost daily. It has become so easy to be lost. In a world that is vastly connected and rapid it is never hard to feel confused or over-burdened with worry. My art explores that feeling of being lost. Sometimes it's scary, getting lost in worry over the future. Sometimes being lost is a good thing: lost in imagination, lost in beauty, lost in love, lost in connection with the natural world. I make functional art, including vessels, garments, and jewelry, to create sustainable reminders that being lost isn’t the only way to exist on this fast-paced orb we call home, nor is lost always a terrible thing to be.

Nature is the main ingredient in all of my art. I am first, and foremost, an environmentalist, then a dreamer, then an artist. Through my work, I strive to build a kinship with nature. I work with clay to create vessels for nourishment. I work with natural textiles (linen, silk, wool, etc.) to compose wearable reminders of the comfort nature can bring to our bodies. My intention is to bring the eternal majesty of nature into the mundane routines of our daily lives. Secondly, I want to invite viewers to join my world of lostness, which can be defined by the playfulness, wonder and curiosity present in my art—these are the most exciting and joyful parts of being lost. Imagination is the gateway to worlds beyond ours and I want to create bridges to those worlds so that anyone can join at any time. Finally, I want to showcase the beauty that comes with self-reliance. When I am able to sustain myself through my own hard work, the fear of being lost fades, and the joy grows. My art is my guard against whatever the future holds. 

Sofia Osterlund is a multimedia artist with a passion for nature and self-sustainability. Her creations explore the intersections between art and needs. She uses clay to create vessels for nourishment, and she uses natural fabric and found objects, such as stones and twigs, to create wearable art for protection and comfort. 

Sofia is a third-year student at St. Catherine University, pursuing a BA in Studio Art with a concentration in Ceramics. She is highly involved in the ceramic community on campus through her positions as Lead Studio Assistant in the ceramic studio, as co-president of the Clay Club, and as the Teaching Assistant for ceramic classes. She is also interning as a Glaze Technician under the guidance of ceramic professor Monica Rudquist. This work is a continuation of her independent study in the fall, when she researched glazes and kiln firings.

Sofia is passionate about making connections with others, which she does both through her art and in her on-campus work as an Event Coordinator on SEEK (Social Events & Experiences for Katies). In this role, she plans and implements student-centered campus events that foster community including trivia nights, art making activities and self-care programming.

Sofia has lived throughout Minnesota and beyond, including across the border on her father’s childhood farm in Mexico. Moving every couple of years made making connections with people a necessity for Sofia. She found the easiest way to do so was to express herself through her art, sharing her philosophy, passions, and experiences to build relationships with others.  

Gisselle Quintanilla

As a child, I was intrigued by the many daydreams my brain mustered. I always had a box of 120 crayons constantly in motion, gliding against printer paper. I kept a tiny pink binder with a collection of my small doodles. By the time I was ten, I had become more interested in my older sister’s book, How to Draw Anime Characters, and I spent every day focusing on the details of the final picture rather than the step-by-step progress of how to get there. It was like I learned a new way of seeing. I could look at the final image and break it down into a series of smaller pictures and comprehend how each small part of the art made it unique and complicated. This realization motivated me to learn more about making art, understand different art mediums, and explore techniques to achieve my creative style.

In 2020, the pandemic’s peak solidified my desire to pursue a career in the arts, as drawing became an escape from the harsh reality of the lockdown. I experimented by researching anatomy and tutorials to help me practice technical skills that later informed my digital illustrations. I used time-lapse videos to monitor my skills, find improvements, and determine what I needed to practice. I relied on my body to understand position, gesture, movement, and weight. Art became my therapy, and the beauty of self-expression became significant during my self-healing journey. Learning these skills allowed me to put my emotions in one place, so it became a healthy coping mechanism for expressing my feelings. I want to tell the story of an event or a series of stories into one picture for others to see and interpret the hidden message or story behind my pieces.

Gisselle Quintanilla was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is a first-generation college student and the daughter of immigrants. At age ten, she took an interest in the arts, specifically drawing and painting, which led her to focus on digital illustration in college. Although she began her journey in Nursing at St. Catherine University, she later realized that healthcare wasn’t her passion, and she was more drawn to the world of the arts and the free reign of creativity that came with it. Art became a coping mechanism, a way of understanding emotions and complexities through a canvas or illustration. 

Gisselle is a Studio Art major with a concentration in graphic design, and she will graduate from St. Catherine University with a BA in May 2024. She was awarded the Dean’s List for excellent academic performance and maintaining an overall 3.5 GPA (2022 and 2023). Her work has been featured in Minnesota’s Women’s Press (2023), Front and Center Food Shelf (2023), and a student-led exhibition for her Building a Creative Life course titled Spiral: Our Creative Lives (2023)Gisselle intends to use her graphic design and illustration skills to seek a career in animation or visual storytelling, such as comics and webtoons.

Justice Randolph

I am at a point in my life where my artistry knows no bounds. In my creative practice, I specialize in graphite and charcoal but in the end, I am a mixed-media artist. I embrace several materials and methods such as drawing, painting, sculpture and writing. Subsequently, I often blur the lines between each of them, paying no mind to the borders that separate them. However, the fluidity visible in my work now wasn’t always visceral. 

As a child, I had a wild imagination. Yet, I wasn’t able to articulate what I was able to create through my mind's eye into a work of art. I could carry out the action of drawing and painting but for some reason, my visual works consisted only of things I could see. It was the one point in time when my imagination was rendered useless. I could mimic anything with ease, from the sound of a voice to the style of a drawing. I have always been quite malleable in that way, changing my shape to perfectly fit into any container I was put in. Just like water. 

Nonetheless, as a young artist, I could mold myself to fit into any container but I didn’t change my shape often. I was quite strict with myself as a child. I received the words of my teachers very literally so I did as I was told, not as I felt. I thought that if I followed directions everything I did would be perfect. Still, I questioned why I could only put forth what I had already seen. The hardest part of this way of working has been my desire to think outside of the box I had always found myself in. I knew this wasn’t a “wrong” approach to art but I knew I could do more. I assume now that I was experiencing a creative block in my pursuit of perfection. I forgot that as babies, we learn to imitate before we begin to do those same things on our own accord. In the end, we must learn to walk before we can run.

Truth be told, I was never a perfectionist. I am a person who enjoys the perception of perfection but I have no desire to embark on the orderly journey of actually acquiring said perfection. I was just so engrossed in directions that I forgot I had a creative license. Now, unlike then, instead of my imagination being reserved for my head, it flows out of whatever tool extends from my fingertips. Through exposure to different artists and styles, it has inspired me to be more exploratory with my own work. As a result, I am able to gain access to what once was locked away from me, and I am beginning to discover my own motivations to create. I am excited to reveal different parts of myself through my works and to further develop myself as an artist.

Justice Randolph was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She is an artist and scholar at St. Catherine University. Justice will graduate in 2024 with a major in Art History and a minor in Studio Art, concentrating in drawing and painting. She has been on the Dean’s list from 2020-2024, and her work has been featured in two exhibitions on the St. Catherine campus, both for the course Building A Creative Life (2022, 2023). Currently, she works as an Administrative Assistant for StarLuna Consulting agency where she handles bookkeeping, notetaking and scheduling. In the future, she is considering a master’s degree in counseling or potentially pursuing art school abroad.