Sarah McEneaney received her certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1979. That same year, McEneaney was included in the exhibition Philadelphia New Talent at Locks Gallery, which was her first gallery show. Since then, she has had solo museum shows at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Mills College Art Museum, CA; and the List Gallery, Swarthmore College, PA. She has been in over seventy group shows throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and had consistent solo exhibitions in New York and Philadelphia over the last twenty years. McEneaney is the recipient of the Yaddo Fellowship (2006, 2005, 1997, 1995), the Pew Fellowship in the Arts (2002, 2001, 1993), the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (2000), the MacDowell Colony Fellowship (1998), and the Chianti Foundation Residency (2009), among others.
McEneaney works as both an artist and community activist in Philadelphia. Working primarily in egg tempera, her paintings are characterized by their autobiographical content, detailed brushwork, and brilliant color. Having her hand in every step of the work, she mixes her paint from egg yolk and powdered pigment, while making her gesso from powdered limestone and rabbit-skin glue. McEneaney's intimate subject matter focuses on daily scenes from her home, studio, travels, and neighborhood. Her work is in numerous public collections including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, and the Mills College Art Museum.