Corning is one place where artistic expressions of the Catholic faith aren’t limited to church paintings and statues. Thanks to Bill Boland, they’re very much in the public eye this summer.
Boland, a member of All Saints Parish, has a host of eye-catching religious paintings on display in downtown Corning. His exhibit, "Welcome Home," opened July 7 with an opening reception July 15. Boland’s art is available for public viewing through Aug. 3 at The Spotlight Gallery @ The ARTS, 32 W. Market St. The exhibit is sponsored by the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes. Viewing hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The showing in Corning marks Boland’s first solo exhibit. Among the works on display are his Marian creations that include a Hail Mary series — a painting of Mary for each clause of the prayer.
Boland was featured in a March 2010 Catholic Courier story about fallen-away Catholics who have returned to their faith. Boland noted in the story that he hadn’t been a practicing Catholic for nearly 40 years before returning to church last year — yet he maintained a close relationship with the Virgin Mary all those years, and has made her the subject of many works since taking up painting. (To view images of Bill Boland’s art, visit www.bolandarts.com.)
For the past 12 years Boland has employed pointillism — a style of painting in which small dots of varying colors are arranged in patterns to create an image. Along with Marian themes, Boland likes to incorporate patriotic and political elements into his works, as exemplified by the "Mount Saviour Madonna" that allows him to "reflect my hope that we will finally have universal health care for all citizens," he stated on his Web site.
Boland is a former Army officer who has an extensive background in business operation and information technology. He returned to his native Corning in 2009 after many years away, and since that time has devoted himself more fully to his art.Tags: Art