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Starting studio art classes in 2nd grade, Tooley has been oil painting for over 17 years, exhibiting work across the United States and abroad. She continued her formal education first in Italy where she studied painting through the Spoleto Study Abroad program, and then in Savannah, Georgia at SCAD where she received her BFA in painting with a minor in drawing. Among her accolades, Tooley recently received a grant for representational painting from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation in 2019.

Tooley considers herself a narrative figure painter, creating works she claims are "conceived in reality and forged by imagination."

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