Story by Megan Schneider

Alumna Emmanuela Ahianti exhibits her artwork at the Omaha Public Library. Photo courtesy of the Omaha Public Library.

Emmanuela Ahianti–alumna of the Class of 2018– had art that was recently chosen to be put on display at the Omaha Public Library (OPL). Ahianti, a current senior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said, “I didn’t even know about the exhibit until a coworker encouraged me to sign up for it.”

Surprised she was chosen, Ahianti was able to “witness the excitement that others felt while looking at [her] work.”

“Two Bodies Same Heart” is Ahianti’s crowning jewel as she loved the process of creating and adding the fine details saying, “I’m a sucker for romance.” This piece can be found on her art page @emanuelaahianti


Ahianti’s passion for art is not something new, however. At only 4 years old she spent her Pre-K days drawing and scribbling. While she attended Marian, Ahianti was a known face around school and says that she feels Marian “boosted [her] confidence even more.” With supportive peers and teachers, like Mr. Jeremy Cisco and Mrs. Ashley Bauer, she was able to grow and improve her art.

Her self-portrait was even the face of the BURN literary/arts magazine back in the spring of 2018.

She actually felt “overprepared” for college after Marian… and fondly remembers being the class mascot for all four of the Field Days.

“Madonna” drawn by Emmanuela Ahianti

Now, finishing up her last year at college, Ahianti is realizing that her plan to graduate and get an associates degree in interior design would not serve this passion of creating. She reflects saying, “I realized I wouldn’t be happy. I was too focused on what would keep me financially stable, but I ended up deciding that I wanted to continue drawing and to pursue animation.”

Life doesn’t always go exactly how it’s planned and the one piece of advice Ahianti was sure to give was to go with the flow. She said, “I suggest figuring out exactly what you want to do in life and make sure it makes you happy, and it’s perfectly fine if things don’t go the way you want because rejection can end up redirecting you on a better and more exciting path.”

Ahianti is hoping to visit Japan after graduation to think about her next steps in life that hopefully leads to an animation studio seeing her talent and her being able to continue her love of art.