Gusties Showcase Their Artistic CreativityWhy you should make time for the All-Student Juried Exhibition.
Posted on November 17th, 2023 by

The 2023 All-Student Juried Exhibition runs through Wednesday, Nov. 22 in Schaefer Art Gallery.

I walk by the Schaefer Art Gallery every day. Normally, I don’t enter this building, as I’m usually on my way to cello practice or orchestra rehearsal in Bjorling Hall, just across the sidewalk.

This, Gusties, is a mistake. This gallery is home to some of the most amazing art in Saint Peter. And the best part is, it’s literally right there. You walk through a giant glass door, and it’s all in front of you.

I had the benefit of time when I stopped in and took a look at what’s currently in the gallery. (First of all, what a great design. It’s like an ascending hill of art.) Right now, there is a Juried Exhibition of student-designed works, similar to how our literary annual, Firethorne, publishes student writing.

Final Moment by Lindsay Bangs

(This exhibition runs through Wednesday, Nov. 22, and it includes the Art Party! on Saturday, Nov. 18 from noon–4 p.m., which features hands-on activities with Art and Art History faculty members, a scavenger hunt, a reception for the Juried Exhibition, and the Junior/Senior Night Market, where you can view and buy students’ artwork.)

By Willa Brown

The variety of works on display at the Juried Exhibition really struck me. I saw photos of nature, abstract paintings, and sculptures of everything from logs to off-putting shapes (not the bad kind of off-putting, the artsy kind). It was beautiful, wacky, photographic, and fascinating all at once.

And of course, realizing that my fellow Gusties made it all, I became curious. What makes an artist tick? What was it like to have your work recognized in this way?

I talked to several students about what it was like to have their work recognized, as well as to get insight on their creative process. (I suck at art, so tips are appreciated.) The responses I got were as varied as Gusties’ many tastes and preferences.

At first glance, I was intrigued and curious at the sculpture that Ivy Mayaka had produced, and I asked her about what she was trying to make.

 Turns out, it’s inspired by the sea. It looks like coral (and is pictured above). Ivy has always been fascinated by reef life, she explained, and wanted to create something she would look at and never get sick of. (Very fair.)

She also told me she thought it was really cool that she had her sculpture up on a pedestal, just like in a real, proper art museum. Not only was this her first time having her work shown in public, she is even more proud of it than she already was for making it into the exhibition. 

Another student, Willa Brown, opted for photography. Two of her works contained other Gusties, who were making some rather quirky pose choices. Willa made both of the pieces initially for her Digital Photography Class, inspired by Andy Warhol headshots.

By Jaina Zillinger

One piece, No Contact, contains several photos of her friend Jack laid out on a “contact” sheet—pun intended. Another piece, Someone Once Told Me Convenience Is Comforting, was done with her friend Logan experimenting with poses on top of a dollhouse (above). And of course, Willa was thrilled that the material made it into the exhibition, saying it felt “absolutely stellar.”

Abigail Willis created a piece entitled Memory Hoarding, which at first glance might seem like a collection of disparate objects plastered onto a wall. This piece has a special meaning for Abigail, as they are all memories of her “foundational life experiences” at Gustavus that she wants to preserve as she moves on after graduation. My own impression was that the piece had the feel of someone’s disparate moments and aspects coming together into one complex whole.

Memory Hoarding by Abigail Willis

Jaina Zillinger displayed two tiny paintings on top of a pedestal. (Seriously, look at them. How did she do it? I could never draw that small if I tried.)

Turns out, Jaina can paint small. In fact, she prefers it. She was inspired by her love of wee things, and of working in the kitchen. These two interests collided, and she pushed the limits of what she could do on a miniature scale.

Finally, I asked Lindsay Bangs about her painting of a lake behind a tree and canoe. It reminded me of my own experiences being at a cabin in Hayward.

Bangs’s idea was inspired by her own cabin in Grand Rapids. She wanted to recreate the greenery and the stillness around the lake that she loves so much. The painting is inspired by the titular Final Moment of daylight before the sunset takes over. 

Art has the unique ability to express many different qualities. It also has the power to show dissimilar ideas and ways of thinking. I was blown away by the sheer variety of items on display at the Schaefer exhibition, and I think you will be as well.

From one Gustie to another: Make time to see this exhibit while you still can. It will be on display  through the 22nd. You won’t regret it. You might even feel a kindling of inspiration.




Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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