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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jasmine Bruce

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmine Bruce.  

Hi Jasmine, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’m a visual artist from Grand Rapids, Michigan using my artwork as a means of healing to advocate for the self, community, and larger world. Creativity has always been a deep part of my personality which is constantly being carved out as I learn and grow as an individual. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I realized I wanted to pursue a career in my work. I eventually graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Fine Art: In the illustration in 2018. Quickly after graduating I dove into the universe of public art and fell in love with its impact. In 2020 I found and niche in social justice through artwork where I led over 100 artists to paint windows in response to police brutality. Since then, I’ve created several murals across town including a mural on the Grand Rapids Police Department highlighting our city’s first Black female officer. I continue to advocate for the BIPOC community, women’s rights, and mental health through my artwork. I’m currently the Public Arts Manager at Lions and Rabbits Center for the Arts where I facilitate and assist local artists with large murals and installations. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Certainly not! But with laughter, love, and constant support I continue. I have a calling to the type of work I create and it is by no means easy, most of the time it’s quite heavy. As much as art can lighten your mood and brighten up space there is constant darkness that must be acknowledged in its creation. I like to think of myself as a miner of light, sifting through and digging up tar-tainted sands of human existence in order to bring light into the spaces that need it. These spaces look like ancestral trauma, mental illness, addiction, racism, sexism…the list goes on. These manifest as internal struggles of the mind, self-doubt, and imposter syndrome. These can also manifest as physical tangle struggles like financial instability and abuse. Whatever it may be, whatever your shadows look like, how do you face it? Name it? Draw it and shower it in love. That’s the work I do. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I mainly work in acrylic, oil, and digital paint while also using my expertise to create large-scale murals. If you had to box my work in, I would describe it as afro-surrealism, it’s extremely funky with aspects of my childhood growing up as a biracial woman listening to hip hop reggae, jazz, and gospel. But it’s also heavily influenced by my love for philosophy, visionary culture, and artists. I’m most proud of my work in the city of Grand Rapids, it is a dream come true for me to be able to be to create murals in my hometown, honoring local heroes with the intention of healing areas of my community. 

What matters most to you? Why?
Healing. It’s something I think about every day. It’s something everyone experiences at each point in their life whether you realize it or not. Sometimes it’s daunting and feels unconquerable but then you realize the graciousness of humans, the communal bond we all share. You realize we are all working towards a “better” future whether that may be big or small. 

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Image Credits

Erika Townsley
Leandro Lara

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