Inside WRAL

Passion for painting is editor's 'therapy'

Posted July 1, 2009

At WRAL, Mary Alice Boliek is an all-knowing, no-nonsense assignment editor who sits perched at the assignment desk, overlooking the newsroom. She is the ultimate multi-tasker – taking phone calls from viewers, sending reporters and photographers to breaking news and coordinating where Sky 5 should fly.

But just eight years ago, her life was not so organized. She says she lost herself and her passion for life.

“There was a moment in college where I wasn’t having the best of luck and (I was) making bad choices,” said Mary Alice. “Something drew me to the art store where I picked up my first canvas and paint, and I have been doing it ever since.”

Mary Alice Boliek's art Mary Alice Boliek's art
Mary Alice Boliek's art Mary Alice Boliek's art

In July 2001, she walked into a Michael’s Arts and Crafts store in Greensboro, which launched her passion for painting.

“It’s a great therapy. It really helps me put things in perspective when I have had a bad day,” she said.

Mary Alice had a tough time finishing her first painting, but her roommate eventually convinced her to put down the brush.

“My roommate at the time told me if I stopped where I was in the painting, she would buy it for 100 bucks. So I stopped. Then I started a new one. I have since learned when is a good time to finish a painting,” she said.

Most of her abstract, brightly colored pieces take about three weeks to finish, and she features them on her Web site,

“I love them all. Each time I look at them, I see something different,” said Mary Alice. ”I am working on trying to get some of my pieces displayed in local coffee shops. I would ultimately like to get involved with either the Art Guild in Durham or Artspace in Raleigh so that I could start showing my pieces in galleries.”


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Inside WRAL takes you behind the scenes of the news business and the stories we cover.