Growing up in metropolitan New Jersey, Michele Rea had an early interest in drawing, art, and fashion that was heightened by her close proximity to the cultural influences of New York City. She was immersed in the City’s art and fashion centers while attending Parsons School of Design, graduating with a major in fashion design. Her early professional career included six years as a designer in the fashion industry on 7th Avenue in New York City and in Beverly Hills, California. Rea’s career focused on custom clothing design in the retail market while raising a family. Her teaching career began first by privately teaching sewing, tailoring, and design, then teaching drawing and art in private schools. Upon moving to Northern Virginia, she taught basic drawing and art to children in the Fairfax Country Department of Recreation after school program.
In 1997, Rea began a long anticipated career change to seriously pursue a career as a watercolorist while experimenting with and still developing professional techniques through classes at the Art League in Alexandria, Virginia. Her work has been selected for The American Watercolor Society, The National Watercolor Society, The Baltimore Watercolor Society, The Washington DC Commission of the Arts, the Art League Gallery, in Alexandria, VA. , The Arts Council of Fairfax County, and has been exhibited throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and the Northeast. She has received numerous accolades for her work.