Artist Spotlight: Emmaline Nichole Horner

Simley High grad pursuing art and possibly theatre at Inver Hills

Originally from Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, Emmaline Nichole Horner, 18, graduated from Simley High School in 2020. Emmaline started classes at Inver Hills Community College in fall semester that same year. She is interested in earning her Transfer Pathway Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) in either Art or Theatre.

Emmaline Horner

After graduating from Inver, Emmaline has plans to study art at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. Her career goals are focused on making a living as a freelance artist. She related that while freelancing offers the opportunity to make her own schedule and be her own boss, she also sees how that approach to her art requires learning a host of skills to be successful.

“I’ve always enjoyed working by myself with clients/customers to bring their characters to life,” she said. “When I was younger, I took on requests from a social media platform, taking no payment other than being credited for the work I made.

“During that time, I’d create a multitude of work including a couple’s art piece that a man was gifting to his girlfriend. It’s this ability to make people smile from the comfort of my own home that motivates me to pursue this career path. I want to do what I love without someone else telling me how or when I can do it—for me it’s all about the freedom!”

Emmaline artwork gallery

How COVID-19 has presented unexpected challenges in Emmaline’s quest to earn a college degree…

Despite all the help readily available to you, to a certain degree you feel as though you’re doing everything completely by yourself. You can spend hours in a Zoom classroom and never move past the point of black screen/white name tag. The whole situation makes you wonder if you’re really talking to someone, or if your words fall on deaf ears every time you’re placed in a break-out room. I feel strained and exhausted when attending meetings, longing for stronger social interactions. I want to know people, not just name tags.

Secondly, having ADD [attention deficit disorder] I find it easier to memorize material and understand instructions when I can have someone physically there to run through the instructions, making sure I fully understood what the assignment is asking.

With online courses, I no longer have the opportunity to sit down with my teacher in person and receive assignments. If I need help, I have to flip through my teachers’ office hours, hoping their schedules will align with my own.

Emmaline Horner
Inver Hills Community College

More about Emmaline…

Emmaline resides with her grandparents and her younger sister, Chloe, 16, in Inver Grove Heights. Her mother and mother’s boyfriend live close by, allowing Emmaline to visit on weekends and spend some quality time with her “little brother,” a 1-year-old orange tabby rightfully named NutterButter.

“When I’m not spending time with my mother, I can be found staying with my Aunt Caitlin and Uncle Chad, and my 11-year-old cousin, Eavan,” Emmaline said. “The two of us love to laugh and joke over Barbie movies and spend hours playing Minecraft.”

Emmaline’s dad lives in Wisconsin and visits as often as he can. Emmaline loves her family and appreciates how much they have supported her through her high school years and now as she attends Inver Hills.

One of Emmaline’s favorite pastimes is taking long walks along the railroad tracks behind her mother’s house.

“Walking allows me to refocus myself when I feel too overwhelmed about school or personal obligations,” she said. “Aside from long walks, I enjoy long car rides where we’ll occasionally stop for coffee before spending the next hour or two driving around and looking at the scenery. I’m a very big wanderlust person, and I enjoy my time hiking in the woods while engaging in topics of history.”

When she’s not out for a stroll or a drive through town, you’ll find Emmaline playing video games, reading, and watching a movie or two. Her hobbies are almost always related to art. She enjoys sculpting, painting, drawing, sketching—you name it.

Emmaline family gallery

Scholarships at Inver Hills…

Emmaline has already received two scholarships while attending Inver Hills, a $500 Laurence J. Margolis Endowed Scholarship (special consideration for a student majoring in Fine Arts area) and a $500 Open House Scholarship.

“Being a recipient of these scholarships has allowed me to acquire course materials and make sure that I could afford what was necessary at that time,” she said. “For me, scholarships are a confirmation that I had a chance at success without the fear that I would be unable to get what I needed. Every dollar went toward textbooks and tuition fees, ensuring continual progress in my years here at Inver. I couldn’t be more honored to have received these scholarships. If I ever get the opportunity, I hope to thank each of my donors in person—they’re the ones who helped make this year possible! To you, I say, ‘Thank you!'”

2019 Art Show

“The fact that someone on this Earth considered me and thought I had a chance to succeed means the world to me. I will continue to hold the highest level of respect and gratitude to those who said “Yes, you can!” You are the reason I am able to pursue my artistic dreams and do what I love.”

Emmaline Horner
Inver Hills Community College

Emmaline added that she chose to attend Inver Hills for a variety of reasons, including completing her generals and obtaining an Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree.

“Drawing, sculpting and painting have been my joy,” she said. “The AP art classes at Simley High School expanded my horizons and taught me many new aspects of art. I was pleased to earn a 3 in 2D Art and 4 in 3D Art on my AP Art exams. I also participated in theatre starting in middle school. I worked in the tech arena helping build sets, making costume pieces, and building and painting props. I also mentored younger classmates new to theatre. I believe a future in art and theatre may be a good fit for me.”

Art at Inver Hills

The art instructors at Inver Hills are accomplished artists who are passionate about teaching. They exhibit their work both regionally and nationally, and are exceptionally knowledgeable in their fields of expertise.

Whether you are a novice sculptor or a future art historian, our instructors are dedicated to expanding your artistic world both creatively and professionally.

Art Transfer Pathway Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) 60 credits

Art Transfer Pathway Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) is the ideal pre-professional degree for you if you plan on transferring to a four-year program to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.). The degree is also for you if you’re seeking to enter the art job market.

The Art Transfer Pathway offers you a powerful option: the opportunity to complete an A.F.A. with course credits that directly transfer to designated bachelor’s degree art programs at Minnesota State universities.¹ The curriculum has been specifically designed so that you can complete your pathway degree and transfer with junior-year status to a four-year school.²

“If you’re aiming to launch your career, earning an A.F.A. gives you the power and know-how to find your niche as a creative professional,” said Rob Kolomyski, Inver Hills Fine Arts chair and art faculty. “You also have the option take a few courses to discover your favorite artistic medium before continuing your studies for noncredit.”


Theatre at Inver Hills

The Theatre department at Inver Hills offers a wide variety of courses, both practical and theoretical, that will give you the experience and knowledge you need to harness your talent. You can begin by taking introductory film, cinema and theatre courses that teach you how to view and analyze performances. You can follow through by taking practicum courses that provide hands-on learning in essential theatrical areas, including:

  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Oral interpretation of literature
  • Set construction
  • Scene painting
  • Lighting
  • Props
  • Makeup
  • Publicity
  • Costuming
  • Stage management
  • Creative drama for children

The Theatre department features two venues ideally suited for live theatrical performances, the 300-seat Inver Hills Theatre and the more intimate Black Box Theatre. The former features three plays a year, including a children’s play in April for students in area elementary schools.

Theatre Transfer Pathway A.F.A. 60 credits

The Theatre Transfer Pathway offers you a powerful option: the opportunity to complete an A.F.A. with course credits that directly transfer to designated bachelor’s degree theatre programs at Minnesota State universities.³ The curriculum has been specifically designed so that you can complete your pathway degree and transfer with junior-year status to a four-year school.


Emmaline Horner Q & A

What attracts you to the A.F.A. in Theatre program at Inver?

I have actually shifted my focus since I want to work as a freelance artist or pursue a more effective career in the art industry. I have experience in theatre from high school, but it’s far better for me to earn the A.F.A. in Art. I figured that because I have such a strong passion for art, it’s best to focus my interest where I know I can grow and develop into the artist I hope to become. Inver recently awarded me an art scholarship, which has boosted my motivation and made me eager to do my absolute best to earn that degree! Perhaps in the future, I may look into a theatrical degree.

I never took up any roles in the plays that we performed in high school. I always joked around with my theatre friends that perhaps one day they’d get to hear my singing or watch me attempt acting. But I never did. Instead, I spent my time bouncing around roles as head painter, assistant costume manager and head usher/head of house, which I carried out with a firm sense of responsibility. To the young students I taught, I was known as “Duck Mom.” Everywhere I went, the students followed me like ducklings—I miss all of them dearly.

What is your favorite art medium and why?

Sculpting is my favorite art medium; there are many ways that a sculptor can go about bringing their imagination to life in a 3D sense, which has always fascinated me.

It’s what you can do and how you can go about doing it, that makes sculpting such a satisfying activity. I like working with armature wire and bakeable clay when sculpting.

Why are you thinking about majoring in art at Inver Hills?

Getting an A.F.A. in Art would allow me to improve my preexisting skills while also gaining additional skills I can use to professionally to run a business or gain a job. My plan has always been to open a freelancing business where I can take on professional work and do what I love at my own pace and with my own rules in place.

Three words that describe you as a college student:

What advice would you give students just getting started in college?

Set/create a work-method tailored to the course schedule for your semester. It’s always a good idea to know what you need to get done and have a time frame for when your assignments need to be turned it. Something as simple as a calendar can help you manage you workload and keep track of any upcoming events and/or due dates.

What person has influenced you the most in your life?

I’m a history enthusiast, and if it isn’t a family member, then it’s likely to be a well-respected historical figure or famous celebrity. These people helped put in place the moral standards I use today and how I go about improving and viewing my art skills.

Walt Disney was definitely an idol of mine. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of a man who dealt with struggles before reaching success and who genuinely loved the work he created. His smile and his kindness were never conditional.

I want to do the same for other people—doing good not because of the reward, but because you have the ability to do so.

What is the greatest challenge facing your generation?

Learning to cope with changes has to be one of the biggest struggles for my classmates of 2020. We were never raised with the notion that we’d graduate the year a global pandemic would rise.

We were all told that after we left high school, we’d be seated in a college classroom surrounded by other students. But when that isn’t what you get after graduating, you start to question whether or not you’re really prepared for what reality will do to you.

“Did my parents and teachers prepare me enough? Am I going to be able to handle this?”

Those are the questions people like me are asking now.

Where do you see yourself in the near future?

I hope to have graduated from Inver and transferred over to UWRF where I focused on developing skills that helped me pursue my freelance art career.

I’m hoping my college education and degrees will have allowed me to figure out what specific job I wanted to pursue. Outside of continuing my education, I plan on managing my hobby as a job, selling my personal creations in a professional manner online.

One word that best describes your experience at Inver Hills:


Emmaline Horner 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Swimming
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Italy
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Seeing a live performance of Hamilton, the American musical by Lin Manuel Miranda
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Donate to organizations that focus on the conservation of wildlife and national forestry/ ocean animals 2) Adopt a golden retriever from the animal humane society as well as donating half the money earned to shelters in need 3) Buy a house so I can effectively manage an Etsy shop, my personal dream career
  5. Favorite artist living or dead: Vincent van Gogh, Dutch master
  6. Best movie you’ve seen lately: Over the Moon
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Setting an example for future generations; sharing kindness unconditionally in the hopes that others do the same
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: Hummingbird
  9. Dream occupation: Freelance commission artist
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Matthew Mercer
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Learn to hand sew
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Global warming
Learn more about the Art Transfer Pathway A.F.A. and taking art courses at Inver Hills by contacting:

Rob Kolomyski
Fine Arts Chair
Painting and Drawing Faculty

Learn more about the Theatre Transfer Pathway A.F.A. and taking theatre courses at Inver Hills by contacting:

George M. Roesler
Theatre and Film Faculty

¹ You may need to submit a portfolio for transfer to a B.F.A. program at a four-year institution.
² The Art Transfer Pathway Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) program at Inver Hills is establishing articulation agreements with the following colleges and universities:
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Concordia University, St. Paul
Augsburg University
³ The Theatre Transfer Pathway Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) program at Inver Hills has articulation agreements with the following colleges and universities:
Metropolitan State University: Theatre: B.A.
Minnesota State University, Mankato: Theatre: B.A. or B.S.
Minnesota State University, Moorhead: Theatre Arts: B.A.
Southwest Minnesota State University: Theatre Arts: B.A.
St. Cloud State University: Theatre: B.A.
Winona State University: Theatre: B.A.

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