“I think GMC was the perfect fit for me. I loved the landscape and the countryside and the farm—it was a down to earth place and the people were like that, too.”
A native of Hokkaido, Japan, Masumi Nyui’s language skills were a work in progress when she arrived at GMC, so perhaps it’s natural that she gravitated to the arts as a mode of expression.
“Without a lot of experience speaking and writing in English, it was hard to make friends the first two years,” she recalls. “I also had to work really hard to keep up with my studies. But looking back it was a positive situation because it forced me to learn the language.”
Masumi’s teachers helped her acclimate, including art professor Richard Weinstein who encouraged her to take herself seriously as an artist and served as her advisor and mentor. But it was mostly Masumi’s quiet determination and adventuresome spirit that led to her success at GMC and beyond.
Her senior art show was anchored by a series of watercolor sketches she completed during a 2004 backpacking excursion in Europe. The trip was an exploration of a new continent and her journey as an artist. She came back with over 100 pieces of art and a new sureness in her draftsmanship and use of color.
Masumi’s watercolor work is well known to the Green Mountain community—she painted the campus map used in GMC publications and has contributed numerous paintings to the college including a watercolor of the campus presented as a gift to recently retired professors Mike and Vangie Blust.
Masumi continued her education at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia where she received her MFA. Now based in her own New York studio, she has branched out into more conceptual work, and has hosted exhibitions in Savannah and New York. She also works for Manhattan-based artist Matt Mullican. Recently she helping the artist complete a large installation that opens at the Center Pompidou-Metz in France later this year.
“I think GMC was the perfect fit for me—if I attended another bigger school I would have been lost. I loved the landscape and the countryside and the farm—it was a down to earth place and the people were like that, too.”