Proximate Magic

Last Fall, my solo exhibition, Proximate Magic was presented at Saint Joseph’s College Board Room Gallery in Patchogue, NY. A big thank you to John Cino, the curator, for inviting me to exhibit my work, and to Anna Malzone, the gallery director. 

Much of the work in the exhibition was very new work that I had recently completed. Some pieces were made in 2018 and 2019, and some were made when I was in grad school, nearly 8 years ago. I was very pleased with the way the show came together. It was great to see the new work up on the wall, and to see how these three bodies of work made over the past 8 years, fit in context together. I could really see the through line from the earlier works to the most recent ones and I enjoyed seeing them all together.

The title Proximate Magic came from this phenomenon that I was observing and then ruminating over as I made work last year. Despite having to be physically apart, there were so many ways that people were intrinsically held together. There was this pull I was feeling. And as I worked on some of the earliest pieces from last year (Proximate Magic 1, 2, and 3), I was thinking about this. And this feeling evolved into thinking about ways we care for one another as I watched the ways people were finding to provide care and connection when the conventional ways failed, were insufficient, unavailable or exclusionary. That pull or drive to connect despite everything making us stay apart, I described as Proximate Magic.

You can learn more about the exhibition in this discussion between John Cino and myself:

<iframe src=”″ width=”560″ height=”315″ style=”border:none;overflow:hidden” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”true” allow=”autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; picture-in-picture; web-share” allowFullScreen=”true”></iframe>

Here is a quick walk through of the exhibition:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

Below are some still images of the gallery installation and each work in the show. You can see more of the work I made last year in the gallery. This space has wood paneling covering the walls, which I was unsure about at first. Once we began installing the work, however, I really loved the way the work looks against the gorgeous wood. Click on an image to enlarge:


This is a video of my tiny book Putting My Face On:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>


Here is the text from the press release:

Saint Joseph’s College

Board Room Art Gallery, O’Connor Hall

155 Roe Blvd.

Patchogue, NY 11772

Elizabeth Castaldo

Proximate Magic

Nov 14 – Dec 10, 2020

November 1, 2020 For Immediate Release

Saint Joseph’s College is pleased to present Proximate Magic, a solo exhibition of recent work

by Elizabeth Castaldo. The exhibition will run from November 14, 2020 to December 10, 2020

with a virtual artist talk to take place on November 17th. Through her mixed media works,

Elizabeth Castaldo explores the relationships between nature and the feminine. Moving beyond

the oft quoted spiritual relationship, she explores the political aspects of the confluence of

women’s and environmental issues. Her work employs combinations of drawing, printmaking,

collage and paper cutting in works that are both beautiful to look at and deep with meaning.

For the work featured in Proximate Magic, Castaldo uses mixed media, collage, and printmaking

to push the limits of pattern and layering. With intricate hand drawn patterns, ink drawing,

collage, and watercolor washes, she creates richly layered surfaces that reference patterns

found in nature and the body. A new series of works on paper depicts figures, overflowing with

flowers, that morph into one another and into their surroundings. These works explore the

Divine Feminine and the search for a new power grounded in love and healing rather than in

domination. They celebrate pure sensuality and the interconnectedness of life on earth.

Elizabeth Castaldo is an artist, printmaker, and bookbinder living and working in Peekskill, NY

and New York City. She holds an MFA from SCAD Atlanta and a BFA from the School of Visual

Arts. She has completed residencies at the Center for Book Arts, NYC and Printmaker’s Open

Forum. In 2019, several of Castaldo’s artist’s books were included in the traveling exhibition,

“Freed Formats: The Book Reconsidered”. She organized the exchange portfolio “Earth/Mother”

for the SGCI 2020 conference “Puertografico”, which asks participants to create an original print

that considers the intersection of women’s rights with environmental issues. Elizabeth teaches

printmaking and book arts at Parsons School of Design and the Center for Book Arts. Her work

has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in many private and institutional


Proximate Magic opens on November 14th and will run through December 10th in the Board

Room Art Gallery at Saint Joseph’s College O’Connor Hall, 155 Roe Blvd. Patchogue, NY. The

artist will give a virtual talk on November 17th at 12:40pm. For more information about the

exhibition or to register for the artist talk contact Anna Malzone at 631.687.1434 or