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Life and Beauty – Spoken Words of Steven T. Licardi

stevenbooks2By Jenna Weis

Finding beauty and self-acceptance in our ever-changing modern society can be found with the help of many creative outlets if one allows it. When faced with a struggle early in life, poet, author, and visual artist Steven T. Licardi found his calling in the written word. The West Islip native exudes positivity and brings forth social issues in his poetry to connect with and inspire his audience. Taking the stage from South Hampton to the Upper East Side, Licardi’s greatest personal achievements as a poet are opening for award-winning poet Buddy Wakefield at the Velvet Lounge in East Setauket, and performing throughout California.

Before all of the numerous honorable mentions, awards, and truly making a name for himself in the world of poetry, his journey began with writing as an apparatus for Licardi to express and understand his emotional states. As a child he was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder, which made it difficult to connect with his emotions. Creativity allows Licardi to fully connect his mind and spirit.stevenspeaking1

“I think writing and specifically poetry provided the best way for me to make sense of my emotions. My manifestation of a PDD was a developmental disconnect between my cognitions and my emotions, and the ability to express myself helped to bridge that gap.”

The road of self-remedy has also paved the path of self-discovery for Licardi who has built his confidence and stamina to use his talents to be heard, understood, and cause emotional reaction. This seems to be a driving force for Licardi, as it would for anyone who is immersed in the creative world. To do something of passion that attracts attention as Licardi has accomplished is a true success. Not only his words but his delivery resonates a powerful punch of hope, even when addressing serious issues.

“My writing and my art are inspired by a desire to get people thinking, to explore a facet of culture, of society, of life, or of humanity. That is why a lot of my work deals with social issues (mental health, death, pop culture, etc.) I want people to understand, to think, to feel. To experience something new”10700317_831358190231647_2061123366574394804_o

Once an obstacle, now Licardi praises the mere experience of feeling an emotion, any emotion. What can bring more of an emotional force than the thought of death? Specifically, your own death. The ultimate inevitable end-game we all face has fascinated Licardi for quite some time. He is in the final stages of finishing a novel he began 10 years ago which explores death from the point of view of the main character “Anaximander”. Working on this project has guided Licardi to an unexpected new outlook on life.

MVI_7096.MOV.Still001“If you embrace death, invite it into your home, sit and have a cup of tea with it, take it by the hand and say, “Come with me. Guide me” (because a good guide always knows what your final destination will be), it will show you how precious everything is. A glass of water becomes a delicacy. The fact that nothing will last makes everything beautiful and perfect.”

Licardi’s poetry strengthens our perceptions and challenges us to believe in something, stand up for it, experience new things, and embrace life and all its beauty. He will be performing at SPARKBOOM’S JINGLE BOOM: HOLIDAY BASH event on Saturday, December 20th at Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery located at 213 Main Street from 6-10PM along with James Kim, Frankie A. Soto, Meredith Nussbaum, and Bri Onishea. There will be craft beer courtesy of Saint James Brewery, treats from Stella Blue Bistro, Hint water, prize giveaways courtesy of Sip Tea Lounge, Lotus Vintage, Kilwins Huntington, and Escape Pod Comics, live music and windows tinsled out by Reme and Caitlyn Shea.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rain roomJenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.

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Artist, Caitlyn Shea Embraces the Uncertainty

CShea_BlogPicBy Jenna Weis

The unknown and sense of uncertainty can make one anxious and even fearful. It is definitely something that is often avoided, but artist Caitlyn Shea desires the uncertainty when creating her powerful paintings, even manipulating various mediums to distance herself from intention. Painting and re-painting, configuring and re-configuring the composition in the midst of the creative process, Shea produces figurative artwork with the spirit of Abstract Expressionism. As a female delving into a style dubbed long ago as “masculine”, Shea summons a new, strong sense of femininity to abstract art.

The actual process of building up and breaking down the image are critical elements in Shea’s work. Her paintings consist of meditative yet lively colors applied in an action painting aesthetic with an animal, insect, or a human being as her muse for the visual complexity they can offer. For this artist, inspiration is often found in a photo of a natural being in a unique pose or from a unique perspective, giving Shea a compelling layout to explore the anatomy. Through a gestural array of colors the subject seems to be formed through the abstraction that gives the being life and energy.2_RavenHiRes

“I like to take risks and will sometimes bring a painting to a place where I completely dislike it. Then a spark will come back again and I will rework the painting.  Figuring out the balance between form and abstraction keeps me engaged and excited – and keeps me up all night very often!”

Utilizing charcoal, acrylics, spray paint, and even house paint helps Shea generate the out-of-the-box results that she strives for. She says “These mediums give me unpredictable results and bring an element of discovery that makes painting more exciting…In many ways I allow the mediums to dictate the work, and I pull the form out of the materials.” This method allows the viewer to witness the process of change as it unfolds throughout the painting, creating a state of sublime.

10659022_879263097663_2796195771679992064_oOver the summer Shea experienced her greatest achievement as an artist when she completed a massive humming bird mural on a vacant building in Riverhead thanks to the East End Arts Council’s program “JumpstART”. After an enormous amount of work, proving her capability, and fundraising, Shea created her own opportunity to display her work to the public. She says “In the end it is my greatest achievement because it will continue to stand in Riverhead permanently and offer hope to a community that is eager to revitalize.”

Shea will be making her art a public affair in Huntington as well at SPARKBOOM’S JINGLE BOOM: HOLIDAY BASH event on Saturday, December 20th at Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery located at 213 Main Street from 6-10PM. She has decorated a window display of whimsical animals in chaotic holiday environment consisted of 2D and 3D elements. Along with great artwork to see there will be craft beer courtesy of Saint James Brewery, treats from Stella Blue Bistro, Hint water, prize giveaways courtesy of Sip Tea Lounge, Lotus Vintage, Kilwins Huntington, and Escape Pod Comics, and live music and poetry. RSVP here via Facebook.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rain roomJenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.

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