Paintings by a local artist who helped run a long-standing custom frame shop in Longview are on display at the Longview Public Library until the end of the month.
Shirley Bailey brought her love of art to Cowlitz County in the 1980s, painting acrylics on paper until her death at the age of 92 in 2021. People can view and purchase around 50 of her paintings for the more Impressionists on display until August 31 at the Koth Memorial Gallery at the Longview Public Library.
Bailey was born in Idaho but had roots in the early days of Longview. Bailey’s father helped lay the concrete in the Civic Circle, but soon moved to work during the Great Depression, his daughter Wendy Kosloski said. Bailey’s family often traveled for work, sometimes living in tents.
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Bailey was drawn to architecture at a young age, making cardboard houses as a child, Kososki said. Later, his daughter, she made paper dolls.
Bailey and her husband Don followed their little boy and husband who worked at the mill in Longview just after the Mount Saint Helena eruption in 1980. About eight years later, they opened Teague’s Interiors, first as a custom frame shop in the back of the house. Broadway Gallery, and then moving and focusing on interior design.
Bailey’s art was inspired by his excursions and interests, Kosloski said.
“Mom has done a lot of things from her travels, mostly around the state,” she said.
A series of vibrant butterflies pays homage to Robert Michael Pyle of Southwest Washington’s work with insects. The soft depictions of cyclists along serene trails mirror her cycling trip to France as a widow after 53 years of marriage. A painting in the Koth Gallery depicts a scene from “The Chronicles of Narnia,” Kosloski said.
Bailey reproduced the work of classical artists to learn and was self-taught, Kosloski added. Most of the pieces are impressionist, but some have modern and more realistic approaches.
The paintings range from $ 135 to about $ 475, some due to their expensive frames, and are up to about 27 inches by 39 inches in size. Proceeds from the sales will help finance a glass sculpture commissioned by Washington native Dale Chihuly to represent the city and which will be housed in the Longview Public Library.
The Art Renaissance Team, or ART, is part of a local non-profit organization that leads the efforts for the Chihuly opera.
“Shirley was a prolific painter during her 90s and many other talents,” said Retha Porter, president of ART.