A dream is just a dream until you start chasing it, and Jasmine Sun, a senior at Our Lady of Guam Academy, has been chasing her dreams of getting into art school since she was born. she’s in fifth grade.
All that time and effort finally paid off with her recent acceptance into the Rhode Island School of Design, one of the top-ranked art schools in the nation.
In addition to starting an art club at the Academy in their first year, Sun’s accomplishments include exhibits on the mainland. Last summer Sun opened an exhibit in California and in 2019 one of their paintings was displayed at the Congressional Art Competition Reception at the US Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C.
Sun’s love for art began at a young age, and they often joke that it was a trait their mother passed on to them genetically. “Like me, she also grew up being an ‘art child,'” Sun said.
Sun’s mother had a talent for drawing at a young age but was unable to pursue an artistic career as she had no support. Not wanting the same thing to happen to her children, their mother made sure to support them in all their artistic endeavors.
One such initiative included the establishment of an art club at Our Lady of Guam Academy.
“When I started in first year, … the Academy didn’t have a lot of resources for students in terms of visual art other than an art class that only upperclass students are allowed to take. It was a huge problem in my eyes and those of my fellow Saint Anthony Catholic School graduates,” said Sun, who is president of the club.
“As freshmen, we had a strong desire to express ourselves and an absurd amount of creative energy that we had to release somewhere,” added Aubrey Rosario, vice president of the art club.
As they were only freshmen at the time, the other students had little belief that the club would be successful.
“Not many girls start clubs in their freshman year,” Rosario said. “There were a lot of doubts from our upper class students, and we had a rough start – but the Art Club was what we honestly needed at the time, and none of us regret.”
Fast forward to now, and now Art Club has become one of the school’s most popular clubs, with a membership of over 50 students.
All of the members’ art can be seen throughout the school. Among the paintings and drawings are two by Sun that depict several teachers and students from the school.
“I’m very proud of the safe space he’s created,” Sun said. “What I cherish most about every art club meeting is seeing other passionate young girls sharing their creativity and ideas, proudly, without shame.”
This year the club plans to paint a large mural somewhere in the school.
With all they have accomplished so far, it’s no wonder they were accepted into RISD. Sun said they had no intention of applying at first due to the selectivity of the admissions process, but after finding out a friend had come in, they decided it wouldn’t hurt. ‘to try.
Sun said they work tirelessly on their portfolios and often watch YouTube videos to see how they can improve.
“The application process was rewarding, but exhausting. Due to time zone differences, I had to wake up at unholy hours in the morning just to attend informative webinars,” Sun said.
When the news arrived that Sun had been accepted, it was no surprise to friends and family who had believed in them from day one.
“Jasmine is the most talented artist I know, but she’s also incredibly genuine, funny and brilliant. She’s not only going to knock the socks off RISD, but the whole world, and I’ll be cheering her on along the way,” Rosario said.