Rea is a Deaf contemporary studio artist. She has received numerous awards for her work and exhibited them throughout the country, including the Smithsonian Institution and the John F. Kennedy Center Hall of Nations in Washington D.C. Her work made its international debut at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2013.

Rea holds a B.F.A. in Metalcraft and Jewelry Design from Rochester Institute of Technology, School for American Crafts and an M.F.A. in Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.