Student Profile

Ivan Bailey-Greene ’24​: Athlete and Artist

Outside of the Prep Community, many people know Ivan Bailey-Greene ’24 as a hard-working leader on the Football Team. During his time as part of our State Championship Football Program, Bailey-Greene was a hard-charging defensive lineman who always seemed to play bigger than his size.

However, many on campus know a different side to “IBG,” his artistic side. According to art teacher Kat Lee, Bailey-Greene is one of the top artists in the school.

“Ivan has grown so much as a painter, especially in his confidence,” Lee says. “At first he was hesitant, asking what he should paint, what he should do next. Now, he moves through projects at a great pace and his behaviors as an artist are really sound.”

Though Bailey-Greene had always been interested in drawing, he let it take a backseat to his other interests, including academics and football. A drawing class with Lee brought him back to the art world.

“We had a lesson where we had to use paints and I really enjoyed that,” he says. “I fell back into creating art and loved it.”

He found that not only was he really good at it but the process was rewarding. “It relaxes me,” he says. “It became a habit and a hobby. I find myself happier and more able to focus when I paint. It gives me comfort.”

Ivan normally paints portraits and is inspired by the work of Kehinde Wiley, who famously painted a portrait of former President Barack Obama that hangs in the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery. A recent trip to New York City’s Whitney Museum with Dr. Rupertus’ African American Studies Class exposed him to the work of noted artist Henry Taylor. He was pleased to see a similar style.

Bailey-Greene battled through several injuries during his time at the Prep but continued to be a leader. Recently he committed to play at East Stroudsburg University where he will major in nursing, following in the footsteps of his mother Alveria and his grandmother Adrienne Bailey. And of course, he will minor in art. “I want to be an artist somehow, in some way,” he says. “I really do love painting, that is a passion. I will see how it goes but I know that art will be a part of my life for the rest of my life.”

As is typical from the kind young man, he does not keep his art to himself. He has painted works for teachers, including a family portrait for Lee and a painting of Malcolm X for Dr. Rupertus after studying The Autobiography of Malcolm X. “He captured us beautifully,” Lee says. “He really does an excellent job of drawing beautiful people of color, especially Black individuals.”

Bailey-Greene is grateful to Lee and art teacher Jenna Robinson for their mentoring. “I can’t thank them enough,” he says. “They brought this out of me. I don’t think I would have discovered it on my own.”

Bailey-Greene painted a portrait of Art Teacher Kat Lee with their partner Kyle and Baby Wood. Kyle is wearing traditional Polish garb, Lee is wearing traditional Korean garb, and Woods wears a combination of both.
Bailey-Greene painting in class.