Niagara Gazette — It used to be his eyes were the tools of his artistic expression.
When Al Ligammari Jr. was a hotshot young photographer, emitting coolness from his knee-high boots to his shoulder length curly hair, his artwork was birthed by what his eyes could see as he shot portraits of local rock bands and clicked photos of beauty queens. Same went for his art design and graphic work, all created from his unique view of the world
These days, the art he creates require his ears be his principal tools. And for that, he is infinitely grateful.
Ligammari is battling glaucoma and currently walks with a red-tipped white cane. But, the old saying “when one door closes another opens” holds richly true for him these days. As he works in the studio of his Niagara Falls home, surrounded by an accumulation of his art — from his pin-pointed stippling, to his self-portrait tapestry and his graphic design images — his newest creations are built on the screen of a small iPad.
After being declared legally blind several years ago, he returned to school at Niagara County Community College, where he previously worked as an art director, and took up music composition. His dream now is to write for an orchestra and he is already finding some elements of success.
His closest friends have gathered in support of his new challenges and are holding a show and celebration of his work in April.
“To me, he’s a treasure,” said Carl Filbert, a local musician and high school friend of Ligammari’s, who is leading efforts to hold a “Celebration of 40 Years” of Ligammari’s work at 2 p.m. April 14 at the Como Restaurant on Pine Avenue. “He’s just an unheralded local genius.”
Ligammari comes from a family of artists, who had a show of their collected works last year at the Niagara Falls Public Library. His mother, Leonora Ligammari, was a pen and ink artist, and his father, Al Ligammari, 88, is a musician and oil panter. Three of Al II’s four children also do painting and photography, including GiAnna, 20, Dominic, 16, Alfred III, 28; Daughter Colin, 33, is a martial artist who lives in Florida. His wife, high school classmate Lynn Ligammari, is a drummer who also creates inspirational writing.