A Portrait of ’09 Artists
We all have a special talent. That is what makes us all unique. For some of us, these talents become evident in our early years, but for others, those talents may not be discovered until later in life. For one local family, however, artistic talent can be seen, and often heard, as soon as you walk through the door of their beautiful home on Ridgemont Avenue in Terrell Hills.
Lee and Sarah Bailey first met in New Orleans when Sarah was only 14, and Lee was 18. Lee’s father, Dennis Bailey, was a well-known opera singer, and Lee had just begun his career, following in his father’s footsteps. Lee was set to perform in a production of “Camelot” when Sarah accompanied a friend to the auditions and was cast as a lady in waiting. The pair hit it off and became friends, even keeping in touch when Lee joined the Air Force during the Gulf War and completed his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base.
Their friendship flourished throughout the years as Sarah attended LSU, where she got her degree in Microbiology, and then went on to study Microbiology and Immunology at Tulane University, where she specialized in vaccine development and molecular genetics. Lee moved back to New Orleans after his military service, and he continued to sing with the opera company. Sarah also stayed in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, and she relocated with her family to San Antonio.
The couple stayed in touch, and eventually, Lee moved to San Antonio, and they were married in 2015. Together, they have a daughter named Caroline (5), but Sarah also has a daughter, Lily (18), who recently graduated from Alamo Heights High School and will be attending college at The University of Colorado Boulder. Lee also has two sons, Gabe (16) and Daniel (14), who live with their mother in Pensacola, Florida.
It was when Sarah was trying to decorate Caroline’s nursery that she discovered her artistic talent as a painter. She says, “I was trying to find unique artwork for my daughter’s nursery, and when I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, I thought that I would try my hand at painting myself. It turns out that I really enjoyed painting and creating, so I began to paint commissioned pieces for interior designers and friends.”
Today, Sarah works as a full-time artist and even has an impressive art gallery in her upstairs studio, where interested buyers can see her work showcased on display. Caroline has her own artist’s corner in the studio as well, where she creates art alongside her mom.
Lee has a commanding presence, as most opera singers do, and he is proud of his career as a performing arts teacher and instructor. He runs his Farrar Performing Arts Studios from his own music and recording studio downstairs in their home, where he teaches voice, guitar, piano, acting, songwriting, musical composition, and music theory to students from ages 4 to 80. Lee takes new students at the beginner level, and he also works with master performers, helping them to fine-tune their gifts. Lee states, “I meet my students wherever they are in their artistic journey. Each student has their own unique goal for their talents, and I help them reach those milestones based on their individual desires and goals.”
Lee is currently working toward his own goal to return to performing, and he is working on several projects as a singer/songwriter as well. He will be performing a recital at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Terrell Hills in October.
The Baileys love living in their ’09 community and really enjoy just walking their dog, Rex, through the neighborhood. Sarah says, “It is the strong sense of community that keeps us here, and we love that everyone seems to know and look out for each other.”
There is a sense of peace in the Bailey household, even though it can get quite chaotic with students coming and going to Lee’s studio and energetic Caroline running around while big sister, Lily, tries to wrangle her, but you can feel the love that surrounds them. It is evident that this partnership has created a true, modern, blended American family and that together, Lee and Sarah have truly found their home.