WEST HARTFORD – Connecticut artist Mary Billingsley has donated 21 paintings valued at more than $168,000 to Holy Family Retreat Center.
Ms. Billingsley, who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Boston University, creates Christian art with Catholic themes using gouache paint. She has exhibited her work throughout the Northeast.
The paintings she donated to Holy Family depict each scene from the Catholic rosary and were created over a period of 20 years. They are being showcased on the third floor of the center’s retreat building, which has been enhanced with special lighting to accentuate the beauty of the paintings.
“The rosary paintings are exquisite, and we are deeply honored that Mary has entrusted her precious works to us,” said Passionist Father David Cinquegrani, director of Holy Family Retreat Center.
The rosary is a form of prayer, aided by a string of beads to count each prayer, used in the Catholic Church to recall events in the lives of Jesus and his mother Mary.
These events, categorized as Joyful Mysteries, Sorrowful Mysteries, Glorious Mysteries, and Luminous Mysteries, include such key moments as the Nativity, the crowning with thorns, crucifixion and death, Resurrection and baptism of Christ in the Jordan.
Ms. Billingsley said she decided to donate the paintings after her husband, artist John Matt, attended a retreat at Holy Family in the spring of 2016.
“It was an answer to my prayers, since I’d been searching for years for a venue in which to show all the works together,” said Ms. Billingsley. “John immediately realized that Holy Family was the perfect space to exhibit the paintings, and after seeing the spacious hallways, I agreed. I am so happy that these works of mine will be permanently displayed in such a beautiful and prayerful home.”
Limited edition prints of the rosary paintings are available for sale to the public. Information is available from Bill Walsh at 860-760-9755.