Alief Elsik High School brought a group of students to visit Rice on November 9, 2015 for the HRC’s Civic Humanists program. Civic Humanist fellow and Rice PhD candidate Jessica Davenport and brilliantly talented, local artist Whitney Sparks teamed up to give a vibrantly meaningful lecture on the intersections of art, culture, social justice, and public life in contemporary society. The group of girls from Alief Elsik were very reflective, discerning and warmly engaged in the overall field trip experience. Everyone seemed to learn a great deal from this incredibly informative occasion. One beautiful moment was when Whitney shared about her own experience being a high school student in which she overcame some challenging circumstances through her art. Click here to read what she had to share in her own words.
*Jessica Davenport interacting with Alief Elsik students at Rice
The interactive lecture was followed by a tour of Rice and an exploration of its public art, including a visit to Jaume Plensa’s ‘Mirror’ sculpture and James Turrell's Twilight Epiphany skyspace. Click here to view information on this amazing skyspace. Next on the field trip agenda was a visit to Intersections exhibit at Rice’s wonderful Art Gallery. The temporary installation, which reflects the artist Anila Quayyum Agha’s own struggle to realize the beauty and integrity of her religious culture while acknowledging the painful experiences she had growing up in Lahore, Pakistan, in which “culture dictated that women were excluded from the mosque, a place of creativity and community, and instead prayed at home.” Click here to read about Intersections.
After having a lovely lunch outdoors in front of the Gallery, students brought their field trip to a close by starting a creative writing assignment, which you can view here. Yves Ye, a freshman at Rice’s Brown College from China, assisted the field trip, sharing his exciting first year of living in Houston on campus at Rice. HRC Fellow Mark Schmanko was also present for the event. We are truly appreciative that Alief Elsik High School was able to come participate in our HRC Civic Humanists program. Thank you to everyone who made this event possible!