Sharpstown High School recently brought a group of students to Rice for our Civic Humanist field trip focused on Public Heritage on Wednesday November 4th. Civic Humanist fellow Jessica Davenport and local Houston artist Whitney Sparks together gave a vibrant lecture on art, public culture, rhetoric and creative social engagement in civic life. This was followed by a tour of some of Rice’s campus art, exploring the nature of cultural identity, place, space, and architectural design in constructions of public art.
The group first visited Jaume Plensa’s ‘Mirror’ sculpture and then spent time inside the James Turrell Twilight Epiphany skyspace. Click here to view information about the skyspace.
Students were so inspired by the Turrell skyspace experience that they all at once spontaneously lept up into the air and remained suspended in the air long enough for one person to take a picture just in time!
After the campus art tour, students then viewed the Anila Quayyum Agha Intersections exhibit at Rice’s Art Gallery, which is a temporary installation that reflects the artist's own struggle to invoke the beauty of her religious culture while acknowledging her experience of “her childhood in Lahore, Pakistan where culture dictated that women were excluded from the mosque, a place of creativity and community, and instead prayed at home.” Click here to read more about Intersections. Students then had lunch outside in the beautiful courtyard right in front of the Rice Art Gallery.They wrapped up their field trip by getting into groups to work on a creative writing assignment, which you can view (forthcoming) here. Rice undergraduate Malvika Govil and HRC Fellow Mark Schmanko were also in attendance to help out with this awesome field trip experience.
A creative piece by local Houston artist Whitney Sparks. Click here to visit her web page.