Betty G. Bailey

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Betty Graveen Bailey
Betty G. Bailey and Clayton Bailey at the Peace Terrace - Oakland, CA.jpg
Betty & Clayton Bailey at an opening at the Oakland Museum of California
Betty Joan Graveen

(1939-11-13)November 13, 1939
DiedMarch 20, 2019(2019-03-20) (aged 79)
Other namesBetty Bailey
Known forDrawing, Video Production, Ceramics, Baskets
MovementFunk art, Nut art, Outsider art
Spouse(s)Clayton Bailey

Betty Graveen Bailey (née Betty Joan Graveen;[1] November 13, 1939 – March 20, 2019)[2] was an American multidisciplinary artist. She lived and worked in Contra Costa County, California, and was part of the Nut art movement.[3]

Artistic practice[edit]

Part of the loosely defined Nut art movement, Bailey, an untrained artist, practiced videography, ceramics, basket making and drawing.[3] Later in life, Bailey primarily drew with watercolor pencil, working from memory. Her watercolor drawings feature figurative depictions of everyday life with humorous subtleties.[4]


As a dedicated videographer and documentarian, Bailey maintained a large VHS collection of her own work and others, recording many art openings and exhibitions featuring many California artists including her husband Clayton Bailey, Joy Broom, Roy DeForest, Leta Ramos, Mel Ramos, M. Louise Stanley, Richard Shaw, Gerald Heffernan, Peter Saul, Creative Growth Art Center, Greg MacGregor, Fletcher Benton, Wayne Thiebaud, Jewel Bleckinger, Susan Subtle, The Port Costa Talent Show, H. C. Westermann, William T. Wiley, and others.[5][6]


Bailey's first show was in 1970 at the Candy Store Gallery in Folsom, California.[7] Since then, she has shown throughout the United States.

In 2009, Bailey showed with her husband, Clayton Bailey, at the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, California in a show titled "Robots and watercolors."[8]

In 2016, Bailey showed in New York City at U.S. Blues, Brooklyn[9] alongside Daido Moriyama, Jacob Lawrence, Ficus Interfaith, Annabelle Speer, S. Clay Wilson, and Philip Evergood; as well as, at Feuer/Mesler Gallery in January 2017, alongside Andrew Brischler, Nick Payne, and Mason Saltarrelli.[10]

In 2017, Bailey showed in Los Angeles at the Parker Gallery in a show titled 'Nut Art" alongside works by Robert Arneson, Clayton Bailey, Roy De Forest, David Gilhooly, Hannah Greely, Calvin Marcus, Maija Peeples-Bright, Benjamin Reiss, Peter Saul, Sally Saul, Harold Schlotzhauer, Richard Shaw, Irvin Tepper, Chris Unterseher and Franklin Williams.[11]

Furthermore in 2017, Bailey showed at the Atlanta Contemporary alongside Tyler Beard, Benjamin Butler, Nuno de Campos, Allison Evans, Matthew Fisher, Emilie Halpern, Grant Huang, Brad Kahlhamer, Joel Mesler, Caitlyn Murphy, Tessa Perutz, Eleanor Ray, Lisa Sanditz, and Mari Sunna.[12]

Opening in November and running through the end of 2017, Bailey showed in Jam Session, with Johanna Billing at Et al. Gallery, San Francisco.[13] Additionally, Bailey showed with Keith J. Varadi at NADA NYC in 2018 with Et al. gallery.[14]

Bailey Art Museum[edit]

In 2013, Bailey and her husband, artist Clayton Bailey, founded the Bailey Art Museum in Crockett, California featuring their own art.[15] The Bailey Art Museum was near the Bailey's residence and studio in Port Costa.[16] The 3,200 square feet (300 m2) space brought together works from across Clayton's five decades plus career featuring examples of Funk art, Nut art, ceramics, and metal sculpture (including robots and space guns), as well as pseudo-scientific curiosities by the artist's alter-ego Dr. Gladstone. The museum also included narrative watercolor drawings by Betty G. Bailey and a gift shop.[17] The Bailey Art Museum closed in 2020.[18]


  1. ^ "Saying Goodbye to Artist and Prankster Clayton Bailey". KQED. Retrieved 2021-06-19.
  2. ^ "Betty G Bailey (1939 - 2019)". 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-04-02.
  3. ^ a b Schuster, Clayton (14 July 2017). "Revisiting the Witty Work of 1970s Bay Area Nut Artists". Hyperallergic.
  4. ^ "'A Pointed Remark' at Feuer-Mesler, NY | Artinfo". Artinfo.
  5. ^ "Video Documentaries Produced". Betty G. Bailey.
  6. ^ ""A Pointed Remark" Exhibition - Feuer/Mesler". NY Art Beat.
  7. ^ "Candy Store Gallery exhibition announcements, [undated] and 1973-1982". Archives of American Art.
  8. ^ Butt, Tom. "E-Mail Forum". Councilmember Tom Butt.
  9. ^ ""dccon1: narrabantur" at U.S. Blues (Contemporary Art Daily)". Contemporary Art Daily.
  10. ^ " - The Web's Largest Art Information Service".
  11. ^ " - The Web's Largest Art Information Service".
  12. ^ Studio, Familiar. "106 Green|Atlanta Contemporary". Atlanta Contemporary.
  13. ^ "Betty Bailey and Johanna Billing: Jam Session". Et al. / Et al. etc.
  14. ^ Im, Jackie; Harbour, Aaron; Krueger, Kevin. "NADA NYC 2018 - BETTY BAILEY KEITH J. VARADI". Et al. / Et al. etc.
  15. ^ "Bailey Art Museum - Robots of Clayton Bailey, Crockett, California".
  16. ^ Linhares, Diana L. Daniels ; with essays by Philip E.; Frank, Patrick (2011). Clayton Bailey's world of wonders. Sacramento, CA: Crocker Art Museum. pp. 1, 7–8. ISBN 978-1-8840-3822-8.
  17. ^ Hamlin, Jesse (4 April 2013). "Bay Area arts news". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  18. ^ "Bailey Art Museum, Crockett, CA".

External links[edit]