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With Vibrant Colors, Artist Marian Bailey Brings a Welcoming Vibe to The Well

August 17, 2022

Among the changes students will see when they arrive on campus are the vibrant art installations from Philadelphia artist Marian Bailey adorning the walls of the Student Life and Wellness Building. The six pieces add a beautiful finishing touch to the new building and complement The Well’s goal of redefining wellness through inclusivity and accessibility.

Since its opening in February of this year, The Well has been a new favorite for students. The relocation of the Health and Wellness Center, the Career and Civic Engagement Center, and the Pensby Center ​for Community Development and Inclusion to one central location has helped increase awareness of and engagement with these College resources. Students have also been enjoying the upgraded halal and kosher kitchens, as well as new multicultural, community, and prayer rooms. 

Portrait in Wellness Center

Given the multicultural and interconnected nature of The Well, Bailey wanted her works to help foster belonging and represent the Bryn Mawr students who would be utilizing the space. Bailey explains her intentionality in including disabled people and people of different racial and religious backgrounds in her artwork. “The main theme for me was thinking about Bryn Mawr as a whole and what we would all love to see the population to be like…I just want to really show that everyone should be represented and everyone should be a part of this space,” says Bailey. 

Portraits in Wellness Center Hallway

Bailey was approached in December of 2022 by The Well’s interior designer, Soné Ehabe of 4 Walls Interior Design, to create artwork for the new building. After many discussions, they decided on five portraits to fill the common space, and one vinyl mural for the community room.

The Well’s community room is a large open space with windows that face out to the courtyard and the Erdman walkway. Soné wanted the mural to stand out so that students passing by could see the piece from the window and be drawn in. 

Mural in the community room

Knowing that Bryn Mawr students are academically focused, Bailey hopes that her art can help create an environment where students have “a space where, yes, they can study, but they can also commune with people. So if someone wasn’t fully aware that this new space was available, maybe if they looked in and they saw those colors and were intrigued they would come in and realize that this was a space for them.” 

This project has been the first experience where Bailey feels that a space is dedicated to her work. Bailey reflects, “I can turn around in a circle and see a bunch of pieces that I’ve made. It feels really amazing. I'm honestly so honored that Soné wanted to give me so much flexibility and wanted to see me in all of these different iterations.” 

You can learn more about Marian Bailey at her website.

An Open House for The Well is planned for mid-September. Students can find more information about the event once classes begin.