Andrea Callard was born in Chicago in 1950 and grew up in Muncie, Indiana. She graduated from high school at Kingswood School Cranbrook in 1968, continued her education at Washington University's School of Fine Arts in St. Louis (1968–1970) and graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute with a BFA in painting in 1972. In San Francisco, Callard found an artistic community that included Jim Vincent, Bonnie O'Neill, Baylor Trapnell, Mac Becket, Carol Williams, Reese Williams, and Robin Winters.
In 1973, Callard moved to New York City and into a raw loft building at 150 Chambers St. Again, Callard found a community of artists including Daisy Youngblood, Joe Haske, Robert Israel and Cara Perlman who lived in the same building and Bernice Rubin who lived in the neighborhood. In 1976 Callard moved to the top floor of 40 Lispenard St. She, Cara Perlman, and Bernice Rubin acquired a net lease for the upper three floors and renovated the building.
Callard's involvement in creating the artist group Collaborative Projects Inc., (known as Colab) was one of her strongest contributions to the New York art community. The organization mimicked corporate structure in an attempt to garner grant support that the organization then redistributed among its members or used for collaborative projects such as television programs. In addition, Colab organized several group art exhibitions from 1979 to 1985, and it actively sought to collaborate with other fringe art groups, most notably Fashion Moda in the South Bronx, resulting in what Lucy Lippard called unprecedented and "fragile cross-class, cross cultural alliances". Colab embodied a rough and highly political art scene that deviated from contemporary art spaces and production practices. Andrea Callard served as Secretary to the group from 1978-1980. She and a small group of others produced the Times Square Show of 1980 in an unrented four story building at Times Square. Her photographs thoroughly document the artworks of the event, a show that challenged many minds about art and culture.
Andrea Callard's professional career also developed during this time period. She made numerous contributions to Colab shows and created many of individual artworks including field recordings, super 8mm films, videos, photographs, drawings, and watercolors. Her artwork centered on issues of environmentalism, which is particularly evident in her Ailanthus series. Additionally, her work attended to issues of cultural change evident in her contribution to the 1979 Custom and Culture II show at the NYC Customs House. In 1977, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded her an Individual Artist's Fellowship for Drawing. She also participated in several art residencies beginning in 1978 at the Cummington Community for the Arts in Cummington, Massachusetts. With Reese Williams, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Mark Thompson, Callard started the LINE organization to raise and distribute money for artists' books.
In the 1980s, Callard gradually separated from Colab but continued to look for opportunities to collaborate with other artists. This desire manifests in her 1980 Site, Cite, Sight show with Bonnie O'Neill in San Francisco, her collaboration with Kathy High on a street poster for Colab, her contributions to Steve Ning's film Freckled Rice and her work with Sam Sue on The Tenement: Place for Survival, Object of Reform in 1988. These projects are notable but represent only a portion of Callard's collaborations throughout the 1980s.
In 1985, she founded the Avocet Portfolio with Jollie Stahl at Art Awareness, a multi-arts center in the Catskill Mountains. They worked with Vince Kennedy as he developed his nontoxic water-based inks for Createx Ltd. From 1985-91, Avocet published 48 editions of screenprints by 33 artists from Colab and the wider artworld, many who have become well known since then.
Additionally, Callard participated in numerous art education residencies sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts including ones in Malone, New York, at the Hecksher Museum, at the Huntington Public Library, at Carthage Central Schools in Black River, New York, at Rockland Center for the Arts, the Baldwinsville Schools and Studio in a School. Over the years, she has lectured at Williams College, Wake Forest University, the Virginia Commonwealth University, and others.
During the 1990s, she exhibited in solo and group shows including The Waste Stream: at the Storefront for Art and Architecture and a show of master printer's portfolios titled Multiple Connections at the Bronx River Art Center. She also participated in several residencies and visiting artist positions including one at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. Finally, she took on leadership roles as Art Coordinator for the National Council of Jewish Women, Director of Arts and Crafts at Brant Lake Camp, and a Project Arts Coordinator at the New York City Board of Education.
More recently, Callard earned an MFA in Integrated Media Arts, Department of Film & Media at Hunter College. She works digitally and has returned to producing videotapes, photographs, texts and audio compositions.
Callard is the mother of Callard Luke Geller who was born in 1988, also an artist. Her parents were Patricia and Charles G. Callard. Andrea Callard continues to live and work in New York City.Flora Funera (for Battery Park City) (Super 8, sound, color, 4 min, 1976)
Lost Shoe Blues (Super 8, sound, color, 4 min, 1976)
Fluorescent/Azalea (Super 8, sound, colour, 4min, 1976)
11 thru 12 (Super 8, sound, color, 11 min, 1977)