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S.A.L Gallery Featuring Student Art Weekly

By Melanie Spina
Assistant A&E Editor

Every week, the S.A.L Gallery will have an exhibition of different artists who are usually graduate students attending Post, according to Karina Cuba, a sophomore Art Education major. Cuba works at the gallery.

Candice Licalzi, a graduate student and teaching assistant for the Art Student’s Foundation and Advanced Life Drawing, showcases her work “Visual Chapters.” Photo: Khadijah Swann
Candice Licalzi, a graduate student and teaching assistant for the Art Student’s Foundation and Advanced Life Drawing, showcases her work “Visual Chapters.”
Photo: Khadijah Swann

Throughout the week, visitors are welcome to go into the gallery and view the pieces of art that will be displayed. On Wednesdays, there is an opening reception where the artists usually have a speech, and mingles with audience and faculty.

This week, graduate student and teaching assistant for the Art Student’s Foundation and Advanced Life Drawing, Candice Licalzi, presented her show “Visual Chapters”. Being so active in the arts department, Licalzi was invited to participate in this event where she agreed to show the work she has done in the passed six months.

“There wasn’t a specific number of pieces we could bring but I put up 12 pieces that I think were enough,” said Licalzi. “I didn’t want it to get too overwhelming with the pieces, and I also have a collection going and so far it’s these 12 pieces.”

All of the work that Licalzi displayed was based off of her personal life. Most of the paintings, if not all, featured insects in some kind of way, which she claims, hold a special meaning personally. “What really started it was that I had a seizure disorder my freshman year all of a sudden,” said Licalzi. “Before I had these seizures, I had hallucinations of bugs that I started to include a lot into my art.”

Once Licalzi had finished these pieces, she delved into the meaning behind the bugs. “I was just curious what the symbolism behind insects was,” said Licalzi. “I found out that these bugs represented each of my emotions. As a kid I was very quiet so I feel like that was my mind kind of compensating for what I didn’t do as a child and bringing it into now.”

Other than bugs being a prominent feature in her art, Licalzi started to involve herself even more by painting her own face as well. “I started doing this new collection of my face because I was always trying to find the best way to explain what I am going through; what my communication is as an artist,” said Licalzi. “So I decided what better way to describe myself than to put my face on everything.”

One of the pieces in particular Licalzi spoke about was called “The Garuda” that featured her head on the body of a bird that had a chain attached to her head and went into the heart. It usually takes her a couple of weeks or months to make a piece, but with this one in particular she had it done in three days.

Some of her most recent pieces involve a lot more colors than she typically uses. Licalzi claims that this is because she wants to not only improve herself, but also experiment a bit and change things up.

“It’s perfect proof of that’s what you do in an MFA, you push it,” said Dan Christoffel, a Fine Arts Professor at LIU Post, in reference to her changing from her past paintings that were a bit duller to her current ones that have more color. “Dan and I, as her professors, are really encouraging her to get juicier,” said Neill Slaughter, a Fine Arts Professor at LIU Post.

Licalzi is undergoing her second year of her masters program at Post. However, she also attended Post as an undergraduate student, so in a total she has been here for six years. From the beginning, and towards the end of her time at Post, Licalzi feels like she definitely grew. “I feel like I finally have something I can hold on to, and I feel right about this style and this is going to be my thing. LIU helped me find that.”

Regarding her future, Licalzi is currently studying to be a professor and she plans to go back to school to receive a certification for high school teaching as well as her PhD in Art Education at Columbia University. “That’s what I plan on doing as well as being an artist and show and sell and just enjoy.”

Licalzi is a big fan of doing these presentations every week, “I was so happy with how this event turned out,” she said. “People were really saying that out of all of the shows so far this has been the most popular one and that it really touched people.”

Cuba said to expect plenty more successful shows like this one. There is already an artist or specific event reserved for each week until January 25, 2016. Next week, Amarilis Singh, who is currently getting a BFA in Art Education, will be displaying her art in the S.A.L. Gallery. There will be many more shows from other students as well as some guest speakers.

At the end of the year, from December 15 to January 25, there will be the show “Advanced Visions” where, according to Cuba, High School students come in and present their artwork for everyone to see.

Every Wednesday the S.A.L. Gallery holds an artist reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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