“My journey to RISD Continuing Education began when I bought my first digital camera,” says Jay Davani, who earned a certificate in Graphic Design in 2009 and has completed courses toward a certificate in Photography.

As the lead for creative operations for RISD’s Marketing and Communications department, “balancing school and a full-time job was challenging, but I made it a priority,” she says about the RISD CE certificate programs. “The most rewarding thing has been being able to do the work for myself to propel my career, build my platform, and not rely on others.”

The artist’s advice for anyone considering courses with RISD CE is to choose wisely based on interests and passions, and ask others for recommendations.

Davani, who was born in Tehran, Iran, redefines the boundaries of art through her recent series, WITNESS, a self portrait odyssey lifting the veil between life and death for those who have died for freedom. “As viewers engage with these photographs, I invite them to embrace the fragile beauty of our shared existence. I encourage them to find comfort in the recognition of their own mortality, to honor the stories that have shaped them, and to acknowledge the profound dance between life and death that defines our fleeting presence on this earthly stage for the time that we have.”

So what’s next for this Persian designer, producer and storyteller? On September 16, 2023 Davani will be a featured presenter for Global Day of Action: Ritual + Revolution. See more info below about the event.

—Jay Davani, RISD CE Photography student and Graphic Design certificate graduate

You can learn more about Jay’s experience by visiting the link in her bio @thejaydavani.

Would you like to be featured by #risdceSPOTLIGHT or know someone who would? Fill out this Google Form or email cemedia@risd.edu to learn how.

Event details:

Global Day of Action: Ritual + Revolution
Saturday, September 16, 2023, 2–4:30 pm
RISD Museum / Metcalf Auditorium

Join Jay Davani and other Persian artists from the RISD community for a rare opportunity to explore and discuss Iranian ritual and revolution at home and abroad. Provost Touba Ghadessi will introduce a presentation by Davani and a discussion with fellow Iranian artists Saman Sajasi (RISD BFA 2013 Painting and RISD CE instructor), Maedeh Tafvizi Zavare (RISD MFA 2024 Ceramics), and former faculty member Sheida Soleimani.

Free. To attend this in-person program registration is requested.

Photos by Jay Davani, from the series WITNESS