Andrew Reach (b.1961 in Miami Beach), spent his formative years in Miami. From an early age he had an appreciation of art, graphic design and Architecture and enjoyed drawing and sketching. By high school, he knew what he wanted to be – an Architect.
In 1983, he moved with his life partner (of 31 years), Bruce Baumwoll, to Greenwich Village in New York City and attended Pratt Institute for his Architecture degree. After working in New York, Andrew & Bruce moved to Los Angeles in 1986, where Andrew practiced architecture with Harold Zellman. His projects with Harold Zellman ranged from private residences to creative offices for film directors, editors and advertising agencies. In addition, there were Historic Restoration projects with the restoration of the Evan’s house designed by the son of Frank Lloyd Wright (and a great architect in his own right) Lloyd Wright and the Yasha Heifetz Studio also designed by Lloyd Wright. in 1997 Andrew & Bruce returned to Miami where his architecture moved towards large-scale buildings as an Architect for the worldwide firm HOK Architects. As Project Architect and assistant designer, his last project was The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami where he collaborated with renowned architect Yann Weymouth.
Starting in adolescence Andrew’s spine began showing signs of a disease known as Scheuermann s Kyphosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine where the spine curves forward. His curvature got to the point where his internal organs were impacted and life-saving surgery was required. His first surgery in 2003 involved a multi-level spinal fusion assisted by rods and screws to correct the curvature. This fusion comprised more than two thirds of his spine.
In the fall of 2004, at the commencement of construction of the Frost Museum, Andrew would undergo a second surgery. It would mark an end and a new beginning.
A complication occurred from the first surgery. As his surgeon put it in lay terms, “Your head is falling off your spine”. The second surgery extending the rods and screws signaled the end of his architectural career with the realization and acceptance of being disabled and not able to perform the rigors of his profession.
After the surgery and severed from his profession, the pain from his spine took control of Andrew both emotionally and physically and he began slipping into a deep depression. Then, at the urging of Bruce Baumwoll, his life companion, he began to learn Adobe Photoshop; using the software program to make greeting cards, employing images from Bruce s collection of vintage ephemera. The creation of these cards was a transition to what would become making original digital art from scratch. Bruce, seeing something special happening, purchased a large format Epson fine art printer for Andrew. Bruce had an ulterior motive. Bruce helped Andrew Print his work and hung them up all around the house to inspire Andrew further. Magically a rich vocabulary of artistic expression began to spring forth with the simple act of moving a mouse around with his hand.
Using the world of computer technology he is able to generate art that expresses his creative energies while allowing a channel to escape his pain. He creates limited edition archival digital prints on paper and canvas. “I now feel blessed that I have been able to discover a different kind of artist lying dormant within me. As my art has evolved, I have learned to use the power of intuition and visualization to help me cope with my condition, and am continually inspired by the mindfulness of my body, my pain, and my limitations”, he says.
Andrew’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States. Andrew and Bruce now reside in Cleveland Ohio. His work is in private and corporate collections among them the Cleveland Clinic Art Collection, University Hospitals Art Collection and the permanent collection of the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami.