SPOTLIGHT ON: Bart D’Andrea
Mary Prenon | April 11, 2022
A Bittersweet Farewell to REID’s Graphic Designer of 44 Years
For the past 44 years, Bart D’Andrea has been the “man behind the scenes” of Real Estate In Depth and its predecessor publication Westchester Realtor—planning the newspaper layout, designing ads, and basically creating the look and feel of the Association’s award-winning publication. But this April issue will signify the end of almost a half century of his graphic design work with HGAR, as D’Andrea looks to start a new chapter of his life.
“I just turned 75 and my wife Sylvia reminded me that I’ve been waiting for retirement, and I think it’s finally time. I appreciate the association and all the years we worked together, and it’s been very rewarding for both of us,” he said.
An accomplished artist, author, college professor, lecturer, Chi Gong instructor and former U.S. Marine sergeant, D’Andrea plans to keep just as busy, but also enjoy the free time to travel. “When you’re working on a newspaper, you’re always thinking about the layout, even when you’re on vacation,” he admitted. “Now, once the job restrictions are lifted, I can start to enjoy travel again for as long as I want.”
One of his favorite spots is Italy, where he has traveled extensively. “My family is from Sicily, so I definitely want to go back there,” he said. Paris is another. “It’s a great walking city and the food is amazing, as well as the wineries.” He also reminisces about revisiting the restaurant at the top of the Eifel Tower. Spain, Germany, Austria, Morocco and Switzerland are on his “must revisit” list as well.
D’Andrea began his association with the former Westchester County Board of Realtors in 1978, starting with the design of Westchester Realtor, the forerunner of Real Estate In Depth. “Back then, the publication had no color photos and was more or less just about the Realtors, with no hard or breaking news,” he recalled. “When John Jordan came on as editor, all of that changed.”
D’Andrea worked with four quirky editors before current editor Jordan, including one who insisted on taking edits in his hospital bed one time, and another who always wore a strange-looking cape. “John and I hit it off immediately,” he said. “John was incredibly professional, and his writing ability completely elevated the newspaper. I never had an editor like him. When an editor and art director can actually talk to each other, that’s a good thing!”
The two worked together with former Association CEO Gil Mercurio, to redesign the newspaper and add breaking news stories not only about real estate, but on legislation affecting the industry, as well as regional and national trends. Real Estate in Depth was officially launched in 1996. “I had a very good relationship with Gil,” he recalled “He was really a very special person, and his passing was a real loss. We would speak often, and we had the military in common. I really miss him.”
D’Andrea’s artwork has been featured at showings throughout the tri-state area, and he has taught graphic design for more than 17 years at New York University in Manhattan, as well as other colleges and schools. He is also the founder of Meadow Art and Design Studio, based in New Jersey, and over the past 40 years, he has designed newspapers, brochures, books, catalogs, advertising, and even graphic panels for custom designed helicopters.
Growing up in northern New Jersey, he later served as a sergeant with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1964 to 1970. After graduating with an M.A. in Fine Art from Montclair State University in 1976, D’Andrea worked with several clients before starting his own business. One of his biggest was MasterCard, for which he designed all of their training and operations manuals. Another notable client was King’s Food Markets, which serves the tri-state area. The logos D’Andrea designed are still being used today.
Over the years he has also shared his knowledge of art and graphic design as an adjunct professor with New York University in Manhattan, State University of New York/ Kingsborough College in Brooklyn, Bergen Community College in Paramus, and many others. “My biggest enjoyment is teaching,” he said. “I’m actually most comfortable being in front of a group of people.”
The author of “An Artist’s Opinion,” D’Andrea has judged art shows and given lectures at various organizations, including the Metropolitan Art Museum, The Guggenheim Museum, and MoMA. He has spoken to artists and business groups on more than 65 different artists and art movements. “I’ve talked about everything from ancient cave paintings to modern art,” he noted.
A Picasso fan, D’Andrea’s artwork consists of abstract and expressionism paintings, as well as some sculptures. His work has been on display at the Kotinsky Gallery in Pompton Lakes, NJ, the Westchester County Center in White Plains, the Bishop House in Saddle River, NJ, the Gotham Gallery in Manhattan, and many other locations.
D’Andrea credits Chi Gong, the precursor to Tai Chi, with keeping him so focused with his many endeavors. He uses the ancient movement, breathing and meditation practice daily, and has also been a Chi Gong instructor. In addition, he plans to continue giving art lectures to senior groups and other organizations and will become a docent at the Princeton Art Museum. “I just have to keep busy,” he noted.
A Princeton native, D’Andrea also loves exploring the many nature trails in the area and this spring, he wants to start painting of a series of trees at Princeton University. “I will really miss doing the newspaper layout—it’s always been so much fun,” he said. “When you think about it, I guess I never really worked though, because I’ve always loved what I do!”