Faculty Spotlight: Rob Kolomyski

Art instructor exhibiting work at Rosalux Gallery Open Door 15

Rob Kolomyski, 49, the chair of the Fine Arts department at Inver Hills Community College, is showing his work at the Rosalux Gallery exhibition, Open Door 15. Rob is exhibiting three of his 2019 oil-on-canvas paintings, Earl Kazabowski, Wayne Bumgarden and Stan Joshwork. Rob also teaches painting and drawing courses at the college.

Rosalux Gallery is Minnesota’s longest running art collective; Open Door is the gallery’s annual open call exhibition. Open Door 15 is on display through the month of December.

Todd Bockley, director and founder of the Bockley Gallery, one of the top art galleries in Minneapolis, is jurying Open Door 15. “As a professional that has been in the field for 35 years, the overriding principle that guides my curatorial decisions has been looking for an expression that feels both urgent and honest,” Todd said. “It was a privilege to survey the 163 artists’ work representing a worldwide variety of concerns.”

Todd Bockley narrowed the field to 21 artists, noting how the selection process was an “extremely difficult task given the earnestness and sincerity of the work submitted.”

Rob Kolomyski describes his paintings in the show as follows: “This series of work explores the tensions between image, mark, surface, cartoon and likeness. The portraits are of imagined future post-industrial workers. Somewhere between animal, human and data, these bumbling yet delicate characters might potentially inhabit an environment of their own making and trashing.”

WHAT: Open Door 15

WHEN: December 7–29, 2019

WHERE: Rosalux Gallery

1400 Van Buren Street NE
Suite 195
Minneapolis, MN 55413


(left to right) Earl Kazabowski, Wayne Bumgarden, Stan Joshwork

More about Rob Kolomyski…

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Rob Kolomyski graduated from Mount Clemens High School in 1988. Rob has an M.F.A. from Michigan State University, a B.F.A. from Eastern Michigan University, and an A.A. in CAD and Styling from Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan. The latter degree led him to a 10-year career as an auto body designer.

Rob worked as an associate engineer at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for six years before opting for a career change that allowed him to pursue his love for art, painting in particular, at a professional level.

Before becoming full-time faculty at Inver Hills Community College in 2011, he served as a visiting instructor and visiting assistant professor at MSU. He also taught painting, drawing and art appreciation at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas. Rob teaches beginning and advanced drawing and painting at Inver Hills.

“I like that Inver Hills places a strong emphasis on fine art,” he said. “We have a beautiful facility and students can pursue an A.F.A. in Art.”

Three words that describe you as an art educator:

What Rob likes best about teaching is guiding students and getting them excited about art. He enjoys watching students develop their talent as they advance toward a goal. His teaching philosophy is succinct: “Be accessible, honest and fair.”

His advice to students thinking about the A.F.A. in Art stresses adaptability. “As an artist, you need to develop a lot of skills and be entrepreneurial,” he said. “You can make your own job and make your own career. Teaching is an option to support your art—but you have to be willing to work hard. People in the arts work really hard to get where they are.”

Rob’s paintings have been exhibited at national and international galleries and museums, including:
  • Soo Visual Arts Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts in Brownsville, Texas
  • Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei, Taiwan
  • Da Xiang Art Space in Taichung City, Taiwan
  • Ever Gold Gallery in San Francisco, California
  • Lexington Art League in Lexington, Kentucky
  • The Foundry Art Center in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Max Fish Gallery in New York City, New York
  • Fresh Paint Biannual at the Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio

View more of Rob’s paintings by visiting:


His work has also been selected for inclusion in major publications, including:
  • “International Painting Annual” by Manifest Press, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • “Weak Painting” (Exhibition Catalog) by Garden City Publishing, Taipei, Taiwan
  • “What is Weak Painting?” by Tzu-Chieh, Jian, Garden City Publishing, Taipei, Taiwan
  • “Studio Visit Volume 8” by The Open Studio Press, Boston, Massachusetts

Rob has been married 11 years. His wife, Jennifer, is also an art educator. Rob and Jennifer have one daughter, Eva, age 10. The family has a one dog, an Airedale terrier named Nessie.

When he’s not teaching or painting, Rob enjoys traveling with his family, reading, writing and wilderness survival. He resides with Jennifer, Eva and Nessie in Woodbury, Minnesota.

More about the A.F.A. in Art at Inver Hills…

The Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) in Art  is an ideal pre-professional degree if you have plans to transfer to a four-year college or university to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.). The A.F.A. is also suitable if you are interested in entering the art job market.

You will take 20 credits in general requirements along with 40 credits in art courses in any of the following areas:

  • Ceramics
  • Digital Art
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Glass
  • Photography
  • Sculpture

Many of our students take art courses as part of their liberal arts requirements; others complete their freshman and sophomore years at Inver Hills and then transfer to a B.F.A. program at a four-year.

If you are aiming to launch your art career, earning an A.F.A. in Art gives you the power and know-how to find your niche as a creative professional. You also have the option take a variety of art courses to discover your favorite artistic medium.


Rob Kolomyski Q & A

Rob Kolomyski
Rob Kolomyski

What is one thing every art student should know?
No one is born an artist, art is a learned activity like any other. You CAN draw!

What is the most important attribute of an artist?

What do you like best about teaching art?
Being around the art and the energy of students and watching their progress.

Three words that describe you as an artist:

What is the most challenging aspect of teaching art?
Surviving in a world where the fine arts and arts education are increasingly undervalued and considered expendable.

What advice would you give students thinking of making art or art education their career path?
Work hard. Fail. Work harder. Fail better. Repeat.

Who is your favorite artist?
Currently, I am interested in the work of Nicole Eisenman.

Huddle, 2019

What is your greatest strength as a painter?

What is your highest goal as a painter?
To continue to make unique work until the end of my days.

What painting do you like best out of all your paintings?
The one I am currently working on, but ask me again tomorrow.

One word that best describes your experience teaching at Inver Hills:


Rob Kolomyski 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Cleaning my brushes.
  2. Place you would most like to visit: A stream behind my father’s cabin (location classified)
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Faced down a grizzly bear alone on a mountain trail.
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Wake up 2) Make some eggs 3) Go to work
  5. Favorite TV show you’re watching now: Ken Burn’s Vietnam
  6. Best movie you’ve seen lately: Star Wars Holiday Special featuring Jefferson Starship
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Stay active and healthy into old age
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: Bowerbird
  9. Dream occupation: Keith Richards
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Sasquatch
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Heavy metal drumming
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Disempowerment of women
Learn more about art and drawing courses and the A.F.A. in Art at Inver Hills by contacting:

Rob Kolomyski
Fine Arts Department Chair
Painting and Drawing Faculty

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