As a 12-year-old boy, Milton Pollard (’20) loved to draw Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker and Marvel comic book characters. Little did he know his sketches would eventually lead to creating stunning art later in life that depicted Afro-American culture, history, spirituality and music.
Today, the husband, father, grandfather and U.S. Marine Corps veteran attends Deliverance Evangelistic Church, the site for Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School’s Philadelphia location. Besides earning his bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from LBC | Capital, Pollard has an associate degree in Art Studies from the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) and also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
During Black History Month, the artist’s work will be on display from 4-8 p.m. Feb. 28 at Temple University.
Starting out with just paper and pencils, Pollard became interested in the medium of oil, including acrylic oil, while he was an art student at CCP and never looked back.
“That’s when the transformation took place in my life,” he said. “I remember when I met a well-known artist named Ellen Powell Tiberino from Philadelphia. I told her about how I went from pencil to oil; she laughed and said, ‘You got spoiled by the oil.’ However, she gave me words of encouragement. Moreover, she told me to never forget your first love—the pencil—but enjoy the oil.”
Pollard considers himself an expressionist, painting what he feels and infusing much of his work with the history of Afro-American people and urban lifestyle from the past as well as the present, including topics such as slavery, politics, music and spirituality.
“There are times when I venture off into abstract paintings,” he said. “Like many artists, we tell our story on a canvas of what’s going on today. Some things have changed and some haven’t.”
While art has opened his mind, Pollard said the Holy Spirit helped open his heart to the need to further his education into God’s Word.
“I’ve shared with some of my professors, such as Professor Anthony Bruno and Dr. Tonya Solomon [LBC | Capital – Philadelphia Site Director], how taking classes at LBC has opened my mind to look at the bigger picture of what the Word of God is saying. The instructors are very effective when it comes to the Word of God, they don’t add or take away. I truly enjoyed being at LBC.”