Andrea Reese ’84

Allison Easter '85

Andrea Reese ’84 is a freelance photographer and dog walker living in Brooklyn.

Why did you choose Sarah Lawrence?
I was all set to attend Carnegie Mellon and major in Fine Arts, which had been my passion until music took over in late high school. Then I happened to visit a cousin in NYC who suggested I visit Sarah Lawrence College. As soon as I walked onto the campus, I felt at home. The creative energy in the air was thrilling. A graduate student gave me a tour and he was a perfect representative of Sarah Lawrence, so vibrant, smart and interesting. By the end of my visit, I knew SLC was the perfect place for me. I convinced Carnegie Melon to return my deposit and sent it to SLC instead. 

Did you have a favorite class?

My favorite class was private voice lessons for four years with Paul Ukena, the kindest, gentlest man, who was dedicated to every student. I learned so much from him and carried his encouragement inside me throughout my singing career. I got a terrible sore throat right before an opera production I produced at SLC in my senior year, and Paul drove from Pelham that evening to lend me his humidifier. 

What was your favorite spot on campus?

That’s easy! Bates! Two of my favorite activities are hanging out with friends and eating, and I loved sitting with a group of friends three times a day at Bates. Also, the dances were serious fun, especially the legendary Lithgow Osborne ’83 “Debutante Ball,” for which I made an elaborate gown out of trash bags donated to me by… Bates!

Your first solo photography exhibit just opened at Café Bkln. How did photography become your medium of choice?

My focus for years was performing, first as a classical singer and then as an actor/playwright. ( At the SLC reunion some time ago, Conrad Vogel ’77, the exhibit curator, watched me taking photos around the room with my smartphone and asked to see them. He was extremely encouraging and that lead me to get a DSLR and learn to use it. As I got more and more into photography and posted photos on social media, people began to hire me for jobs, including one of my favorite photography teachers, whose wedding I shot. I’ve now been doing professional photography for about 8 years. ( Thanks, Conrad!!!

Recently, Alice, the owner of a local cafe I love called Cafe Bkln, invited me to have a solo exhibit there for all of August. I decided to show portraits, my favorite type of photography. The pictures are of stray cats I followed with my camera for a while, dogs I walk (my fun "day job") Brooklyn local shopkeepers, and two colorful dear friends. The exhibit has been extended into the first week in September, and there will be a closing party on Friday, September 7, 5-9pm, with Moroccan mint tea, treats and henna art. $15 for the tea, treats, etc., but it's free to drop in. The cafe is at 410 Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, between 13th and 14th Streets, Brooklyn, near the F subway to Seventh Avenue. It would be so great to see SLCers there. 

You’ve photographed Reunions as well. What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2019? 

It’s a major reunion for both me and my wife, Alice Ro ’89, also an SLC grad. She’s five years younger than me so our milestone reunions coincide. We didn't know each other at SLC and met about 10 years ago via online dating. We are so excited about dancing our asses off that weekend and attending cool classes. We’re hoping lots of people from both of our years will attend!