My journey as an artist began at birth. I have always loved creating art since I was a child. Art has saved my life mentally, spiritually, and physically. Art is how I breathe. Art is how I communicate. Art is how I see the world. Through my journey in life, I document the world through my artwork.
IIndira Bailey, Ph.D., is an artist, educator, scholar, and researcher. She was born and raised in Plainfield, NJ, to the daughter of a postal worker and teacher’s aide.
Indira started her art journey as a child. She was inspired by Ernie Barnes’ paintings featured on the TV show “Good Times” depicting the African American world and the realism of Norman Rockwell’s paintings. Her mother realized Indira’s talent and entered her in the local art festival where she sold her first drawing at the age of 11.
Indira was formally trained at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY and received her BFA in Communication Design (Illustration).
Several years after graduation, Indira incorporated teaching in her art career when she was asked to teach an afterschool mural art program with the Plainfield Public School District. She started to realize there was a need for children to not only create art but see African American artists in their community. Indira was a high school art teacher for sixteen years; one year at Irvington High School and 15 at Essex County Vocational School (Newark and Bloomfield Campus) in New Jersey. During her teaching tenure, Indira received her Masters in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Kean University, Union, NJ.
As an African American artist and art educator, Indira noticed the lack of African American artists, especially women represented in art education. She pursued her doctorate and received her Ph.D. in Art Education and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies dual degree program at Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.
Currently, Indira is creating new watercolor series, art education consulting and projects.
Inspired by artists, Ernie Barnes and Norman Rockwell, I love telling stories through paintings and drawings. I use my art to document daily life scenes of unrepresented communities. My passion for art lies in the faces of people. I want to illustrate the soul in their eyes.My first love is oil paint. I enjoy the fluidity, vibrant, and movement of oils. Oils have been patient with me and I with her. I also use graphite pencils, but lately I am using watercolors. I feared watercolors and often avoided them. On an artist residency in Portobelo, Panama, I brought my watercolors to sketch, and I was introduced to a new love. I still enjoy oil painting, but know I realized the multiple mediums I can use that bring me joy.