Rachel Jennings wins

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 12, 2002

Jean Lake Scholarship


Features Editor

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Rachel Jennings believes that God made everyone different and that difference often comes in the way one views the world.

She sees things with an artist’s eye and with strong feelings and deep emotions.

The more she draws and paints, the better able she is to express those feelings and emotions.

"I like to paint things that show emotion – my emotion," she said. "I am learning that I can take something of mine and add something that belongs to someone else and people can better understand what I am wanting to say – to express."

As the editor of the Charles Henderson High School Trojan Myths, Rachel almost stumbled on that realization.

Until Sept. 11, 2001, the CHHS senior planned to become an architect. However, when the school newspaper published a special edition dedicated to the tragedy of 9-11, those plans changed.

"I took a black-and-white photograph of a friend with a flag and we used it as front page art," she said. "Later, I used the computer to add a quotation from President John F. Kennedy and color to the flag and it made a real interesting design."

By combining her own work with that of others, Rachel found her niche in life.

"All of a sudden, I realized that graphic design was what I wanted to do," she said.

In graphic design, artists can use their own creativity, but are not limited by it.

"I thought graphic design would be an interesting career, so that’s what I’m looking at right now," she said.

Rachel plans to attend the University of Florida at Gainesville, where she will be a third generation Gator.

"My mother and daddy, my uncle and my grandfather all went to Florida," she said, adding, however, they didn’t push her in that direction. They just gave her a gentle nudge.

Going to a university "not too close to home" and with 38,000 students is a situation that could make any college freshman a bit nervous. Rachel admitted that she, too, might have some butterflies if it had not been for a big confidence builder that came her way Monday.

She was named the recipient of the Jean Lake Memorial Scholarship which is sponsored annually by the Troy Arts Council.

The scholarship is given in the amount of $2,000 to a Pike County art student and is awarded based on a portfolio judged by a panel from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

Each applicant is required to present a portfolio with 10 pieces of art, five of those are specific.

Each artist’s portfolio must contain a drawing of their feet and hands, an acrylic still life, the contour of a chair in oil pastel, three views of an object in oil pastel and a mixed media abstract collage. In addition, each artist must include five works of art of their own choosing.

The guidelines used for judging are those set by the state arts council.

To be awarded the Jean Lake Memorial Scholarship is huge honor and, for Rachel, it was a big confidence builder.

"When I go to the University of Florida, there will be thousands of students who are extremely intelligent and focused," Rachel said. "It will be easy to be intimidated by them. To have the judges for the Jean Lake Memorial Scholarship choose me as the winner gives me a lot of confidence that I can go down there and compete with people who are the best in their field. It means a lot to me for them to think that I did a good job. I want to thank the Troy Arts Council for giving me this opportunity."

Rachel is currently working on an advanced placement portfolio which will be evaluated by a panel of artists in New Jersey.

She will submit five pieces of her art work and slices of 24 other works. Her pieces of concentration will be a graphic design grouping titled "Reflections of 911."

Rachel’s portfolio, which won her the scholarship, will be on

display at the Jean Lake Festival at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama April 27 and 28.