Rhett Gause

Interdisciplinary Arts student Rhett Gauss makes art with his camera

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies in Digital Arts and Marketing

Class of: 2019

I started using photography in high school. I would capture moments purely for myself, and funnel them into paintings and drawings. During my first year of college studying architecture and fashion in Boston, I made an artistic documentation of The Rhinelander Mansion, Ralph Lauren’s flagship store in New York City. I used painting, architectural rendering, illustration, and photography to capture what that store represented to the company and how Ralph Lauren himself inspired me. The project won a First Place in the All School Show and was displayed in a few galleries around Boston. After this, I realized there were more ways I really enjoyed telling stories than just painting and drawing.

I took a break and went to Nashville to play music for a while, still taking photos for myself, and then went to California to climb. That’s where my photojournalism took off. Those stories and photos got me admitted to the Documentary Studies Program at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. I was there at a great program with a renowned photojournalist and a full ride scholarship, but the program shut down due to a lack of funding. Then I discovered Sierra Nevada College in an issue of Freeskier Magazine. Here I have the unique opportunity to pursue my climbing and mountaineering interests while getting my bachelor’s degree in Digital Arts and Marketing.

Interdisciplinary Arts student Rhett Gauss takes his camera climbing“As an artist I think you have to be extremely interdisciplinary.”

I pride myself on my ability to recognize a story and tell it through whatever different media work best. I use photography, writing, music, video, painting. Each of these mediums has a different approach to saying what is important. I have to be able to create and market my business. I have to organize manage and campaigns, location scout, find athletic talent, and be able to effectively communicate with people and collaborate. I learned this when I helped organize and conduct a shoot for a new REI store campaign in Santa Fe. I have to be an athlete to go explore places and create content.

My goal is to start a media production company that caters to outdoor brands with advertising and content based marketing. My first loves are really climbing, mountaineering, skiing, being outside. I’m also super passionate about creating stories because I can share those experiences and inspire others to get outside. In ten years I hope I’m working for myself at my own company and traveling to inspirational places. I’ve fallen in love with a good deal of the United States, but I haven’t been abroad much.

“Being outside is where I draw all of my emotions and experiences that go into my work and all I hope is that someday I have the ability to inspire someone in the way that I was inspired by others.”

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Katherine Zanto
Interdisciplinary Studies Program Chair

Undergraduate Admissions
FAX: 775-831-6223