Carol Bailey has been commissioned to design scenery and costumes by various opera companies including the Spoleto USA Festival, the Royal Danish Opera, New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Zuid, (Maastricht, Netherlands), San Francisco Opera Center, Pittsburgh Opera, Skylight Opera Theater, Spoleto USA Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, Long Beach Opera, Gotham Opera, Julliard, and L’Opèra Français de New York. Some of her designs for theater and dance include work for the Alliance Theater, Julliard School, the Joyce Theater, Muffathalle (in Munich, with Meredith Monk), the Lincoln Center Festival, and the Staatstheater Kassel. She was the recipient of the TCG/NEA Design Fellowship in 2000. She also exhibited in the World Stage Design 2005 Competition. Her degrees include two MFAs, one from New York University (in design) and one from the University of Pennsylvania (in sculpture).
Carol also has sculpture in the permanent collection of the Nordenfjeldske Kunstindrstrimuseet, Trondheim, Norway.