Alumni Jasmine McMasters graduated in 2011 went onto the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Minor in Art History.
“I’ve always had an interest in art and design,” McMasters said. “I don’t think that quality is hard to come by, knowing what you’re interested in, rather it’s harder to believe you can actually be successful in those interests.
While in high school, McMasters participated in the art and journalism departments. She then went and joined the art club at MIAD and eventually acted as their president.
“I took that love for the fine arts, which was pretty abstract and vague, and allowed it to take whatever form felt best, teaching, curating, making, etc,” McMasters said. “That’s the great thing about high school, you have plenty of time to experiment. I knew art and everything surrounding art made me happy, and I just chose to pursue that.”
In college McMasters started in the New York Studio Residency Program in 2013. A finalist for the Pfister Hotel Artist-in-Resident, in 2015 McMasters also interned with several artists and galleries. Including The Green Gallery in Milwaukee and Regina Rex in New York City. After graduating, McMasters worked as a freelance creative director for a company called The Farmhouse Studio. Then she started working at MIAD as their admissions counselor.
“My job is pretty fulfilling because a lot of students don’t think of art school as an option, either because of finances or a lack of confidence in their skills,” McMasters said. “It’s nice to meet a student and help them pursue their dreams, even if that sounds super corny.”
At MIAD McMasters helps students through the process of applying to the school. In addition to the application process, McMasters travels around the United States and Canada, advertising for the school and helping students find scholarships.
“If you don’t receive support for your interests at home, seek out teachers and others that find value in what you do,” McMasters said. “Being good at something or interested in it or whatever isn’t the important part, believing you can actually do it is.”
While working as an admissions counselor, McMasters also continues to be an artist. McMasters created an organization called After School Special. McMasters works to bring various artists to Milwaukee, display their work, host events, and apply for grants.
“The teachers I had at Legacy are what really helped me solidify my want to go into a creative career.” McMasters said. “Mr. Mallet and Mr. Mason were both excellent teachers that helped me see my potential beyond the classroom. Through their support I was able to take advantage of opportunities like showing my work outside of school, participating in pre-college programs, and traveling to conventions. All those things helped me form an idea of what I wanted to do in college, and the belief that I could be successful in them.”