In 1995 Irene Bailey received her Masters of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting. Her thesis show consisted of portraits of her professors. This show was the elevator of her success as a portrait artist as corporate and family portrait commissions started coming in. Bailey has continued to hone her skills studying under master artists. As an international award-winning artist, Bailey was honored in 2007 as one of “100 Incredible ECU Women of 100 years" in their Centennial Publication.
In addition to her paintings and portraits at ECU, Bailey is known for her official portraits of judges, lawyers, doctors, CEOs (Pepsi), as well as heirloom portraits for many families in the region.
Irene resides on Emerald Isle, NC, where she operates a studio, gallery and classroom for teaching weekly classes and portrait workshops. She also provides an open studio for artists to come paint from a mode. She hosts an annual Paint Out and Art Show and Sale on Emerald Isle with the support of the Seaside Art Council and Oil Painters of America. She has also donated portraits to charities such as the Greenville Museum of Art, the Children’s Hospital, ECU Alumni Association, Thomas Herriot College of Arts and Science, the Ronald McDonald House and the American Heart Association.
Irene Bailey's goal is to project her subjects true personalities through her portraits and to create works of art that will stand the test of time.