Artist Spotlight: Marilyn Hill

Business graduate excels at drawing and painting

Marilyn Hill

Marilyn Hill, 64, graduated from Inver Hills Community College in May 2023 with her A.S. degree in Individualized Professional Studies (IPS) in Administration Operation for Art Market. IPS associate degree programs were developed in consultation with leadership from the corporate world, the nonprofit sector, and educational institutions.

“I’m interested in helping children explore their creative skills in art and painting,” Marilyn said. “I may go to a trade school for designing arts or Metro State to complete a master’s degree in business. Having the advantage of educating my mind is my gift from God. I can enhance my learning and accomplish my goals through determination and feeling wonderful thoughts that I can do it and I can be superior in achieving my destiny.”

Art of Glory Project

Demetrius Hill

Marilyn founded the Art of Glory Project in 2021 as an art-and-painting event for the Demetrius Hill Art Legacy. Her 18-year-old son, Demetrius, nicknamed “Mechee,” was shot and killed by a St. Paul police officer in 1997. She formed the project by reflecting on her history of struggles and learned that drawing and painting can comfort the spirit.

Marilyn believes the minds of children are so powerful and talented even while they’re sleeping. Her project’s approach is connecting directly with families and children who have an interest in art and painting.

Shakyla Walker

“Nothing has a greater impact than creativity of arts and painting because it’s all about what’s on our minds and in our hearts,” Marilyn said. “The greatest form of imagination is in our creative minds. God has shown me that once a visual art form by observation is created through drawing or painting, it brings the character to life in your own image.”

Marilyn’s Art of Glory Project was on exhibit at the Wilder Recreation Center in St. Paul in mid-May 2023. Marilyn’s granddaughter, Shakyla Walker, a guard on the North Iowa Area Community College Trojans, was on hand to help set up the exhibit.

Art of Glory Project gallery

More about Marilyn…

Marilyn Hill

Originally from Fort Dodge, Iowa, Marilyn graduated from Des Moines Technical High School. She is the oldest of eight siblings, and she has three children of her own, two daughters and a son, and five grandchildren.

“My passion for God has blessed me,” Marilyn said. “All of my children have a history of talent in drawing and painting.”

Marilyn’s hobbies include sewing and designing clothing wear. “I also love spending time with my grandkids and watching them grow is so refreshing,” she said. “My favorite pastime is drawing and painting to build a foundation of helping and reaching out to the artistic talents of children of all ages who love to paint and draw.”

Marilyn resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Two words that best describe your experience at Inver Hills:


Marilyn Hill Q & A

Marilyn Hill
What inspired you to take art courses at Inver Hills?

I love to paint and draw—I’ve always had creative talent.

What do you love most about creating art?

The feeling of spiritual power within me is so peaceful and beautiful.

What advice would you give students thinking taking art courses at Inver Hills?

Art is freedom of expression; it’s exciting to see how a piece of art can become your dream of success.

What are the most challenging aspects of completing a work of art?

Concentrating on the first step in the beginning stage can be hard, but what’s most challenging is focus.

Four words that describe you as an artist:

What are your highest aspirations as an artist?

My highest aspirations will be knowing that my art skills have achieved the greatest level of art sales and have made a child smile.

What person has influenced your life the most and why?

The person who’s influenced me the most artistically is my art instructor, Rob Kolomyski. He observed my works of art and encouraged me to enhance my skills and explore more areas in my art.

Where do you hope to find yourself in 20 years?

I have not thought that far—just one day at a time. In the next three months, I am hoping to have more groups and organizations supporting my Art of Glory Project so that fulfilling children’s need for art and painting will continue every summer as a program.

Faculty perspective: Rob Kolomyski

“Marilyn is such a pleasure to have in class! She works hard, asks great questions, and is very supportive of other students. Her paintings intersect personal stories and mythologies with larger issues facing our current society in a very complex and compelling way. I know that Marilyn will go on to do great things, and I look forward to seeing her work develop in the future!”

Rob Kolomyski
Art, Music, Theatre Department Chair
Painting and Drawing Faculty
Inver Hills Community College

Marilyn Hill 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: In high school; basketball and track were my favor sports; my physical activity today is walking and exercising for a healthier lifestyle
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Gullah Island in South Carolina again; it was so beautiful and I felt peace of mind being on the sea
  3. Most exciting thing you’ve ever done: When I was sponsored to travel to South Carolina and Savanah, Georgia, to enjoy the Gullah cuisine in the beautiful Gullah Island-areas of Hilton Head
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Get my family out of poverty and move out of Minnesota to build a home and buy land 2) Build or buy homes for families with children that need support 3) I will donate to the community for healing and religion to build a strong belief with tools to work and teach children about God’s Will and their purpose in life
  5. Best book or movie you’ve read or seen lately: Addicted to Being Good? The Psychopathology of Heroism by Andrea Kuszewski and Privilege, Power and Difference by Allan Johnson 
  6. Time period (past or future) you would explore if you could time travel: I would explore my past to see my mistakes and correct the bad for good because your mistakes are learning experiences that make you who you are today
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in your life: I am very ambitious woman with the desire to help, but some things aren’t in my control; I still love to advocate for progressive learning about accountability and helping those who are treated with injustice and seeing truth about making a change; I desire in my heart to accomplish a goal and Art of Glory is a strong inspiration to my spirit of accepting God’s plan by caring for children needs and seeing a new generation of change for a better future
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: The hawk is a strong species of bird and that strength will always be a part of me
  9. Dream occupation: Graduating in 2023 with an associate of science degree gave me the occupational skills to follow my dream of working with children in need to break down obstacles standing in their future
  10. Person you would most like to meet: I would love to meet Mary J Blige; she is an inspiration to women
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: I would like to take more business courses and earn a master’s degree in marketing and become a hands-on designer of arts, exploring painting on clothing wear for the new generation
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: The most important issue in our society is violence in the community with a trend toward killing young children; that is a huge problem for humankind; the dominant groups are afraid to speak for changes, making our societies more vulnerable to stress
Learn more about Business programs and taking art courses at Inver Hills by contacting:

Inver Hills Community College
Virtual Visit

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