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Doug Bolly

  • Alumni Spotlight

When Doug Bolly ’94 first arrived at Florida Atlantic, he had little experience with painting, but that didn’t deter him from pursuing an art degree.

That decision paid off handsomely for Bolly, who’s spent the past 30 years putting together a prolific career as a fine artist, art director and prop fabricator. Florida Atlantic played a key role in his development, and he’s been intertwined with the university since.

“I absolutely loved my time at FAU,” Bolly said. “Some of my fondest memories and happiest days were there. The people I met, the professors, the classes, the campus – it was great from the day I got there.”

In 2010, Bolly created a wildlife mural at Florida Atlantic’s College of Engineering, and later that year, he was inducted into the Florida Atlantic Alumni Hall of Fame.

During his career, he’s specialized in wildlife artistry, creating vivid pieces, including murals at the Governors Riverwalk Reef in West Palm Beach.

Since 2013, Bolly has served as a Disney Fine Artist, creating works for the Art of Disney Galleries.

“Being a fine artist for [Disney] has always been a dream,” Bolly said. “I would walk through those galleries and say, ‘Man, I really want one piece in here’ and I just finished my 33rd [piece], so it’s definitely more than I ever asked for.”

Another highlight was being selected as one of the 25 official painters for Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday. “That was an honor,” he said.

In addition to his work at the galleries, Bolly has also contributed to theme park artistry, including all six parks at Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disney’s Castaway Cay, a project for the Minions Café and for Japan’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Bolly will be back at Florida Atlantic on Sunday, January 14, putting the finishing touches on a Florida Atlantic-themed painting at the Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena before the men’s basketball team’s 12 p.m. game.

Thirty years after graduating, Bolly remains a passionate Florida Atlantic supporter, adding that his kids have become die-hard FAU fans as well.

“I’ve always been proud that I went there and everything I got from it,” Bolly said. “It was just a great time in my life, gave me so much to carry on with, and opened so many doors.”


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