Kennett Square artist presents original portrait to West Chester University president
Local Kennett Square artist Katie Lickfield, a proud 2023 graduate of West Chester University who was an active member of the Dub-C Autism Program (D-CAP) on campus, knew just what to give West Chester University President Chris Fiorentino upon hearing about his impending retirement in June — an original oil/acrylic portrait painted by one of his favorite Golden Ram artists. Lickfield wanted to make sure that the painting wasn’t like any other presidential portrait. The abstract portrait, which captures the popular university president’s kind and warm spirit, was recently presented by Lickfield during a surprise meeting arranged by Andrew Lehman, vice president for university affairs and chief of staff, and Jen Bacon, dean of the college of arts and humanities.
“When I heard that you would be retiring, I wanted to do something special,” Lickfield said when presenting the painting to the university president. “I want to make sure that you remember West Chester University forever and how much you mean to the students of this University. I want you to take all of these memories with you, because they will be with you forever.”
Fiorentino, who was not only surprised but very moved by the thoughtful gesture, said, “Katie, this is wonderful. You got me just right! I am very appreciative and grateful. This university is so fortunate to have you as a talented and gifted alumna. You make all of us proud.”
Fiorentino placed the painting prominently on the credenza in his office so it is among the first things seen by visitors when they enter.
“I’m going to make sure everyone who visits me sees this painting. It speaks volumes about the incredible career that I have had at this remarkable institution,” he said.
Lickfield, who has been painting since 2019, also gave Fiorentino a second painting that featured the university’s iconic ram statue found in front of the Old Library building on South Church Street.
Currently working as a paraprofessional at Hillendale Elementary School and St. Cornelius Early Learning Center, both located in Chadds Ford, Lickfield is a local oil/acrylic painter and abstract designer whose work is inspired by visits to favorite places like the Sassafras River, Delaware beaches, Longwood Gardens — and West Chester University. While at West Chester University, she received a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in studio art.
Lickfield, who continues to inspire many with original note cards and prints, said, “I’m glad that President Fiorentino liked my paintings. Painting often brings me relaxation, strength, happiness, and joy. It also brings me to a place to release stress and anxiety to focus on the world, and what and where my imagination takes me.”
Some of Lickfield’s artwork can be seen here: https://society6.com/katielickfield.