Artist Spotlight: Rose Cooper

Rose Cooper

Painter earning A.F.A. in Art

Rose Cooper, 20, is earning an Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) in Art at Inver Hills Community College. Rose is on track to graduate from Inver Hills spring of 2020. She is looking ahead to earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, or the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Rose is considering going on to graduate school to earn her Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.). Her career goals include working as a curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

“I’ve done art for as long as I can remember. Art was everywhere when I was growing up.”
— Rose Cooper, Sophomore, A.F.A. in Art Major, Inver Hills Community College

Originally from Hudson, Wisconsin, Rose graduated from Creative Arts Secondary School in St. Paul in 2017.

“My experience at Creative Arts was amazing,” Rose said. “We had less than fifty students in my graduating class—and that meant I was able to work closely with my teachers.”

Rose is continuing to explore her love for art at Inver Hills. She is an accomplished painter who works primarily with acrylics. The main focus of her work is landscapes, and she likes taking the time to refine her detail techniques when painting.

“One thing I’ve learned at Inver is how to dilute acrylic paint with water,” she said. “My art instructor, Rob Kolomyski, taught me how to do that and it really helps with blending.”

Rose is exploring her options as a freelance artist. She is working on an album cover for a client and painting a landscape scene on a table for friends.

More about the A.F.A. in Art…

The Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) in Art is a pre-professional program for students intending to transfer to a four-year program in pursuit of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree as well as  for students interested in entering the art job market. Students will take 40 credits in art courses and 20 credits in general requirements.

Inver Hills offers courses in the following artistic areas:
  • Ceramics
  • Digital Art
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Glass
  • Photography
  • Sculpture

Many of our students take art courses as part of their liberal arts requirements while others complete their freshman and sophomore years at Inver Hills and then transfer to a Bachelor of Fine Art program at a four-year college or university. If you are 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.

Transfer options

The A.F.A. in Art program at Inver Hills has articulation agreements with the following universities:
Articulation agreements in the planning stages:

More about Rose…

Rose was raised in an environment infused with art. Her mom, Lisa, is a freelance illustrator who has completed work for Disney park guides and medical textbooks. Lisa is also a professional tarot card reader.

“I’ve done art for as long as I can remember,” Rose related. “Art was everywhere when I was growing up.”

Her biological father, Ted, is a marriage and family therapist; her future stepmom, Jenny, is a registered nurse. Jenny has two children, Bryn, 9, and Maddoc, 7. Rose’s stepdad, Noah, works for an aircraft supply company. Rose’s biological brother, Benjamin, 18, has ASD.

Her family has three pets, Jasper, a 4-year-old English cream golden retriever, Sky, an 8-year-old Lab mix, and Spot, a 7-year-old tuxedo cat. Spot is Rose’s cat.

Rose works 25 to 30 hours per week at Chick-fil-A while going to Inver. When she’s not working, studying or painting, she enjoys hiking and backpacking; she also likes to read books like The Martian by Andy Weir. Rose resides with her family in Eagan, Minnesota.

Rose Cooper Q & A

Rose Cooper
Rose Cooper

What is one thing every artist should know?
Many people think art is a waste of time—don’t listen to them.

What is your favorite artistic medium?
Painting with acrylics and oil.

What do you like best about studying art?
I like being able to expand my abilities. I’m learning more than I ever thought I could.

What is the most challenging aspect of creating art at the college level?
Trying to balance everything. College is already pretty stressful. I am continuously striving to exceed expectations.

Three words that describe you as an artist:

What advice would you give students thinking about making art their career path?
You are going to need a lot of dedication. No one is going to want it for you; you are going to have to want it for yourself. You will require plenty of determination to succeed in such a competitive field.

Out of all the works of art you’ve created, what is your favorite?
I painted an acrylic landscape this past spring that I really like. It’s a daytime woodland scene with pine and birch trees.

Who is your favorite artist?
Marco Mazzoni

What is your greatest strength as an artist?
I have the patience to work with very small brushes. I’ve always preferred small brushes over large brushes. I like doing the detail work.

What one word best describes your experience at Inver Hills?


Rose Cooper 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Hiking and backpacking; I backpacked and camped in Zion National Park at my mom’s wedding last October
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Anywhere in Europe
  3. Most exciting thing you’ve ever done: I organized a student necessity drive at Creative Arts; they had tons of donated stuff in a storeroom and I volunteered to get it all in order so students could get what they needed.
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Buy a house in northern Minnesota 2) Establish an art gallery for myself 3) Travel
  5. Favorite TV show you’re watching now: The Handmaid’s Tale
  6. Best movie you’ve seen lately: The Patriot
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: No matter what I end up doing, I always want to strive to be an artist.
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: Blue jay
  9. Dream occupation: Professional painter
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Leonardo da Vinci
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Read tarot cards
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Pride
Learn more about the A.F.A. in Art at Inver Hills by contacting:

Rob Kolomyski
Painting and Drawing Faculty

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