Shara Bailey: In the Eyes of the Beholder

Marité & Joe Robinson Strolling Gallery II
April 29–June 4
Scrubby's II by Shara Bailey

Shara Bailey, Scrubby’s II, 2022, oil on canvas, 18 x 24.

Shara Bailey was born and raised in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. For as long as she remembers, she longed to be out West. Bailey lived in Arizona for 10 years while working on her Ph.D., and found herself back on the East Coast in 2005 as a professor at New York University. City living forced her to look at the world differently. One day on the jitney home from New York City, she noticed the reflection of the sunset on a building across the river. At that moment, she realized that beauty is where you find it.

“Put yourself in the way of beauty.”—Cheryl Strayed in Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
It is easy to see beauty in a sunset or sunrise; but sometimes we have to be more intentional about finding it. This series of paintings reflects Bailey’s continual search for finding the magical in the mundane. Maybe she sees it in the way the morning sun illuminates a port-o-potty, maybe she sees it in the pattern of light and shadow on an abandoned building, or maybe she finds beauty in the colors of graffiti on an abandoned car wash. Bailey has found that when she dons a pair of rose-colored glasses, she finds beauty everywhere.