MCA Presents Whole Being: Works by Sheila Bailey

Contact: Natalie Fleenor
Communications Coordinator (901) 272-5113

Jan. 4, 2017



Sheila BaileyMemphis College of Art Presents Whole Being: Works by Sheila Bailey

Sculptural exhibition, expressionistic figures comment on nature of feminine identity

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis College of Art (MCA) presents Whole Being: Works by Sheila Bailey, on view through Jan. 26 in the Rust Hall Alumni Gallery, 1930 Poplar Ave., Overton Park. A special reception, jointly celebrating the works of the late Peter Bowman, will take place Friday, Jan. 20 from 6–8 p.m. For more information about the reception and to RSVP, contact Holly Guthrie at or (901) 272-5168.

Bailey is a graduate of MCA and Whole Being will feature a collection of her small-scale bronze sculptures, including sensitively rendered portrait busts and expressionistic figures that comment on the nature of feminine identity. “My observations, experiences, and relationships find expression in the human face and form,” said Bailey. “In portraiture—either in oil painting or bronze sculpture—I strive to render the apparent and probe the hidden, illusive aspects of the subject. This search is often difficult but essential in capturing the whole being of the individual, whether observed or imagined.”

Bailey’s education and career reflect her diverse interests and talents. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio in 1953, Bailey pursued a career in advertising at the New York agency Benton and Bowles. As her career thrived, she traveled extensively between New York, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Bailey later accepted a position at the talent agency Creative Management Associates, where she served as a personal companion to celebrities including Judy Garland and Liza Minelli. After that, she served as an assistant director for the nightly news at ABC Studios. In the 1980s, Bailey moved to Memphis with her husband Joseph D. Bailey, Jr. (a former student at Memphis Academy of Arts, now MCA). She later enrolled at MCA at the age of 61 and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1992. Her work has been exhibited at galleries around Memphis including the Ledbetter-Lusk Gallery, Madison Avenue Art Gallery, and Memphis Botanic Garden. Bailey’s work is featured in private collections around the country including estates in New Mexico, Arkansas, California, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Whole Being is one of many exhibitions that MCA hosts for the community each year. All MCA exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; and Sunday, noon–4 p.m. For more information about this exhibition and other MCA events, such at Beloved, Quirky, and Covered in Paint: Peter Bowman, 1942–2015, visit

Photo: Sheila Bailey, “Yen,” [detail] bronze and marble, 10” x 12” x 18”

Memphis College of Art provides a rigorous curriculum in an intimate, diverse community to empower generations of leading artists, designers and educators to flourish professionally and contribute valuable ideas to society. MCA is fully accredited with expert, nationally renowned faculty and grants BFA, MFA, MA in Art Education and MA in Teaching degrees with graduates excelling in various careers across the country and internationally. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @memphisart.


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