Artist Spotlight: Oluwafisayo Ola

Oluwafisayo Ola

Nigerian native earning A.F.A. in Art

Oluwafisayo Ola, 20, started her higher education career at Inver Hills Community College spring semester 2021. Oluwafisayo is earning her Art Transfer Pathway Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) in Art with plans to graduate in May 2023.

A 2019 graduate of Metro Deaf School, Oluwafisayo is leaning toward a career as an art therapist, a path that includes studying early childhood development.

“Art therapy combine my two biggest interests, art and working with children,” Oluwafisayo said. “Art therapy is for everyone of all ages, but I personally hope to work with children.”

Oluwafisayo added that she communicates in American Sign Language. “I do not ‘speak’ English, but I am learning it intensively so I can also communicate in standard English.”

Three words that describe you as an artist:

More about Oluwafisayo…

After graduating from Inver Hills, Oluwafisayo would like to transfer to a four-year college. “But plans are made to be altered,” she said. “So, I am not too obstinate about this.”

Originally from Ado-Ekiti, a city of nearly 310,000 residents in the west African country of Nigeria, the world’s ninth most populous nation with more than 207 million people.

“I moved to the United States in 2013,” Oluwafisayo said. “I was thirteen at the time.”

Her favorite memory from her life in Nigeria is being around her cousins on her mother’s side. “We were all a group of ‘Heathers,'” she said. “My favorite place in Nigeria is Ondo State because this is where my cousins lived. Ondo State was where we all gathered in the summertime.”

Oluwafisayo has an older brother, Seyi, 22, and two younger sisters, Tomini, 17, and Bukunmi, 14. Her father, Ilesanmi, is an electrical engineer, and mother, Tolulope, is the executive director of a nonprofit organization. Tolulope also serves as a marriage and family therapist and a cultural healer. She is the author of the book, The Power to Become, and a researcher with a focus in breast cancer. The family had a cat named Bertha, but she moved out.

In her free time, Oluwafisayo enjoys drawing, painting, watching TV and chatting with friends. She resides with her family in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.

Oluwafisayo Ola: Scholarship Recipient

Oluwafisayo received a $500 Virtual Open House Scholarship for spring semester 2021.

“Winning a scholarship was very unexpected,” she said. “I attended the Virtual Open House with my sister, but I did not think I would be a recipient. My family was really excited, and they said, ‘This would be the first of many scholarships.'”

Oluwafisayo family gallery

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.”


Oluwafisayo Ola Q & A

Oluwafisayo Ola
Why did you choose Inver Hills?

I got to know Inver Hills through my sister, who recommended the college.

What is your greatest challenge as a college student?

Being a college student is so different from being a high school student. My greatest challenge so far is coping with the new system and workload.

What do you like best about your studies?

I enjoy what I’m doing. Even though I am a beginner and kind of struggling, I enjoy the process that goes into creating each of my pieces, and the outcome always makes me feel joyful and proud of myself.

What is your favorite artistic medium?

Acrylic paints

Who is your favorite artist?

I do not have a favorite artist, I do not know enough about them yet.

Three words that describe you as a college student:
What advice would you give students just getting started in college?

Study what you enjoy and what heightens your curiosity. It’s easier that way.

What do you look forward to most in your future career?
Oluwafisayo and her mom

Being able to use art as a method of healing for others. Or, I might just discover or develop a new type/method of art. I just recently discovered a new love for chalk drawings, so something in that area probably.

What person has influenced you the most in your life?

My mother—she taught me how to be independent. She always ensured an up when the down is never ending. She is a role model in how to surpass challenges and keep fighting. She is such an outstanding person, but an even better mom, and I love her. My mother is just an amazing human in all ways possible.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

On an island with my own family. The Bahamas sound good, but any island works.

One word that best describes your experience at Inver Hills:


Oluwafisayo Ola 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Volleyball, basketball, dancing
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Anywhere, I like traveling
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: I have done a lot of exciting things,
    but graduating high school is by far my favorite.
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) I would travel the
    world 2) I would buy a car 3) I would invest in real estate
  5. Favorite TV show you’re watching now: All the shows I watch are one season
    and done, but Blackish is pretty good.
  6. Best movie you’ve seen lately: Space Sweepers
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Make memories with my own
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: Swift
  9. Dream occupation: Becoming an art therapist
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Jesus: I have a few questions to ask
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: I would like to learn and master a lot of skills, but right now I want to learn how to cook any cuisine.
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Blind judgers; we are
    basically hypocrites.
Learn more about the A.F.A. in Art at Inver Hills by contacting:

Rob Kolomyski
Painting and Drawing Faculty

Bukunmi, Tomini, Oluwafisayo with their mom
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