Class of 2019
"Caz might be small, but there are absolutely opportunities being offered at every corner. Take advantage of as many as you can, everyone here wants to see you succeed!"
Jasmine Cirbus visited Cazenovia College after hearing about it from her high school guidance counselor and various college-search websites; she chose Caz because of its beauty and the friendliness of everyone during her tour. Cirbus shares, “I could also tell that the college community was tightknit. It seemed like everyone knew each other and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Coming to Cazenovia from her hometown became commonplace, with Cirbus returning for Accepted Students Day followed by orientation week in August. She met some of her friends during these times and felt very welcomed by the college community. “It made me feel like I had made the right decision,” says Cirbus.

Initially, Cirbus planned to major in studio art. She reflects, “I have been drawing since I was about 11 years old. By the time I started looking at colleges, being a studio art major just seemed the obvious choice.” Cirbus’s interest in arts management came later, after she tried a few electives and learned more about the business side of the art world. The arts management major was made an option during her junior year, and she added it to her studio art major. This action was difficult yet rewarding. “I definitely think a dual major has opened up my view of the field, because my classes from each have taught me to look at the art industry from different perspectives: the artist, the marketer, the curator, the patron, etc.,” imparts Cirbus.

Her favorite classes are interspersed throughout the Art and Design Division and include Social Media Marketing, Painting, and Arts in the Community. In Arts in the Community, Cirbus and her classmates organized a fundraising event called Art for Animals. They created artwork to be sold at Common Grounds, the local coffee shop in Cazenovia. All proceeds went to help a local animal shelter, with a significant amount of money raised. Shares Cirbus, “It was great to see … everyone works as a team to organize the event, advertise it, and ultimately sell some cool artwork we had made.”

During her four years at the College, Cirbus found Professor Anita Welych to be incredibly helpful. “In addition to being my professor in a few classes, she was my advisor and was always willing to sit down and give me advice or introduce me to new opportunities,” reflects Cirbus.

As Cirbus moved into her senior year, she began to develop her capstone project, which became heavily focused on diversity. For her paper, she chose to research diversity in the arts, with a focus on artists and leadership positions in museums and galleries. She learned that only 16% of those positions are held by people of color. Cirbus says, “I found it important to learn more about that part of the industry and what it means for me and other people of color in the arts.”

Her creative element also centered on diversity. “I painted surreal portraits of my peers and conducted interviews with them to discover how feeling isolated or different has made them feel, and to learn about their specific experiences. The paintings and the way individuals are posed are reflective of the interviews I conducted,” shares Cirbus.

Outside the classroom, Cirbus brought her knowledge of arts management to a new initiative on campus, CazMade, where she served as the student manager. In this position, she ran CazMade on a day-to-day basis including keeping the books, maintaining inventory, carrying out any special events, and generally making sure that everything went smoothly. Cirbus comments, “It was an amazing opportunity because it is very relevant to the work I want to do in my career.”

Since CazMade and maintaining her grades required a lot of time, Cirbus could only participate in one club, Spilled Ink, the art and literary magazine of the College. Cirbus contributed artwork to the magazine and sold a piece of artwork in the club’s craft fair sale. The proceeds go back into the club to fund magazine printing and other expenses. Everything in Spilled Ink is done with the whole club in mind, such as the craft fair, Trick or Treating for UNICEF, creating posters, and even the printing of the magazine. It is a club that teaches all people involved how to be a team player, and to value everyone’s input.

In addition to real-life professional experiences with CazMade and Spilled Ink, Cirbus also completed an internship at the Orlando Museum of Art in Florida during the summer of 2017. She worked closely with the marketing and public relations manager and learned some valuable skills. These included drafting press releases for local papers, maintaining media archives, and conducting market research. “The experience helped me decide for sure that arts management was for me, and I loved the work environment,” says Cirbus.

In terms of the future, Cirbus would like to work in a non-profit arts organization—preferably a museum—in a major city, in marketing or development. She would also like to do some freelance artwork and create an online business for herself. “I feel that the courses I’ve taken for both my majors have been rigorous and have taught me many valuable skills, as well as what to expect in workplaces both as an artist and as someone holding an arts management position,” shares Cirbus.

Cirbus considers Cazenovia College to be her second home and offers, “Caz might be small, but there are opportunities being offered at every corner. Take advantage of as many as you can, everyone here wants to see you succeed!”