Andrea Beizer is an artist, cartoonist, architect and college professor. The one informs the other, each part being an important facet of her life. Having grown up in an artistic family, she was exposed to the visual arts early. She was drawn to outsider art before it became popular, and has looked for inspiration in the tribal artworks of Africa and Australia, folk art, children's and animation art, as well as the ancient artwork of Mayan and Sumerian cultures. Her interest in these types of works reflects her interests in myth and spirituality.This may be seen in both her artwork and in Alice cartoons as the character struggles to find meaning in the world around her as a woman and an individual.
Andrea Beizer practiced architecture full time prior to getting into teaching in 2000. She was a full professor at the Art Institute of Philadelphia until it closed its Philadelphia location in 2018 and is now an adjunct professor at Moore College of Art and Design.
While practicing architecture full time, she decided to create a cartoon strip as a means of personal expression. She joined the Publication Committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and asked if she could contribute a monthly cartoon strip. Thus, Alice was born. The cartoon strip was created in the 1980s (1984-89) for the Philadelphia Architect, a monthly publication for the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The strip was also published in the Manhattan Comic News in 1990.
It was during the 1980s that Andrea was introduced Tony Auth, editorial cartoonist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, by a friend who also worked at the Inquirer. Tony took an interest in the strip and became Andrea's mentor. In 1993, Andrea opened her own architecture firm, which took her away from her dream of developing the cartoon strip at that time.
Twenty years later (2013), Andrea invited several colleagues from the Art Institute to view her Alice cartoons from the 1980s. One of her colleagues really liked the strip and suggested that she bring it back to life. Around the same time, Tony Auth gave a lecture at the Philadelphia Public Library which Andrea attended. After the lecture, Andrea went up to Tony to remind him who she was. He said he remembered her and asked her What happened to you? Although Andrea was working on other areas of her art practice, she later discussed with Tony the option of bringing Alice back. Both agreed that if Alice wanted to come back to life, she should not be denied. Until Tony's untimely death in 2014, he acted as Andrea's mentor during the initial stages of Alice's rebirth.
The original Alice cartoon primarily dealt with issues concerning architecture and urban planning. For the new Alice, Andrea decided to make the strip about the inner life of a maturing (aging) woman and her struggles to find her place in society. Since 2013, Andrea has been working on and developing the strip. She has exhibited the strip at the Cerulean Arts Gallery; Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2018 at the State Museum of Pennsylvania; Art in the Age of Injustice: Women's Caucus for Art; About Alice: A cartoon by Andrea Beizer, Philadelphia International Airport; and is presently published in the Humor Times, an on-line magazine, and more.
Many people ask Andrea how she came up with the name Alice. When she was in kindergarten at J. Hampton Moore Elementary in Philadelphia, she was friendly with a very sweet little girl named Alice. It was on a visit to Alice's home that she discovered the Dr. Seuss books, which made a huge impression on her. It was at that time that Andrea decided to become an Artist. For the future, Andrea hopes to continue working on the strip as it offers an opportunity to continue developing Alice as a character with whom many can relate, as she struggles with herself, her boyfriend, her animals, and her time and place in society.