“My peers are talented beyond belief, and from them, I am constantly learning.”
My name is Jaclynn, and I’m a sophomore at Martel College studying English and VADA with a Studio Art concentration. My time at Rice has been characterized by the exploration of many processes and mediums– photography, printmaking, sculpture, painting–, but I am most fond of oil on canvas and film photography. I suppose that’s because I feel most inspired when I am surrounded by nature, and these processes can be done outdoors and nearly perfectly capture the essence of the natural environment.
Surprisingly, my favorite project this semester involved neither of my favorite mediums nor beautiful landscapes. Instead, it is a relief print–the result of carving, inking, and pulling a linoleum block through a printing press– of creatures inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. The book was a childhood favorite of mine, and emulating the art style allowed me to reconnect with it. Throughout the process, I consulted my printmaking professor for guidance on a myriad of questions: how do I represent a vibrant world in a medium that’s mono-color? How do I merge my vision with the constraints of the carving process? The list goes on. He worked to help me create a piece I am now extremely proud of, which is a process that all of my art professors enthusiastically embrace. That’s what I love most about the art professors at Rice–they are nothing if not encouraging, engaging, and incredibly brilliant. Aside from my own creative projects, I also enjoy supporting the Rice arts community by attending events such as theatrical performances, exhibits at the Sleepy Cyborg Gallery, and checking out class showcases. My peers are talented beyond belief, and from them, I am constantly learning.
Jaclynn Schwander, Martel College ‘26
“Because of my professors’ interest in my success, I’ve worked with many organizations around Houston, won multiple fellowships, and networked with some of the foremost artists in the area.”
My name is Ayla Davis and I’m a senior studying art with a concentration on film. The art major at Rice is extremely interdisciplinary and really allows students to explore diverse mediums and areas of interest. I’m interested in filmmaking, so the majority of my classes have been film-related, but I’ve also had the opportunity to take a drawing class and a few photography classes. My favorite classes have been the film production classes—the ones that require me to create, get my hands dirty, and allow me to spend time doing what I love. One of the most unique classes at Rice is Handmade Film, which teaches students how to make 16mm analog films; I made one of my favorite shorts in this class. Another project that I’ve been working on recently is a research documentary that is funded by some of the many grants and fellowships available to humanities students at Rice.
I do my best to stay involved with the Rice community and the Houston art scene. On the weekends, I work as a projectionist at Rice Cinema, which is the on-campus cinema where we screen a wide variety of films on the weekends. It’s open to the public and almost always offers free admission. I love seeing my peers come to the movies alongside Houston community members. Plus, sometimes we host visiting directors, which is great for making connections. Rice Cinema also serves as a venue for the annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival, the largest film festival in Houston. I enjoy being a part of this festival, which takes place every November and celebrates the city’s rich art scene while highlighting other artists.
My favorite part of the Art Department is the professors. It is a very small department, which means that I’ve formed a personal connection with every one of my professors. They all genuinely care about me and support me, and they’re always pushing me to pursue opportunities that I never would have pursued on my own. Because of my professors’ interest in my success, I’ve worked with many organizations around Houston, won multiple fellowships, and networked with some of the foremost artists in the area. Beyond that, I truly feel that my professors are my friends.
Ayla Davis, Lovett College ‘24