New York artist Willa Shalit, who has made a life's work of "life casting," hopes to bring her exhibit of famous plaster faces and appendages here for a touchy-feely exhibit at the Los Angeles Braille Institute. Shalit wants to go West with the same type-casts she displayed at a New York show for the blind: marvelous mugs depicting Sophia Loren, Paul Newman, Whoopi Goldberg, Isaac Stern, Helen Hayes, and Natalia Makarova's fabled foot en point . Even Ronald Reagan sat for a life mask a couple of years ago under the quick-dry material. Shalit once plastered her father, TV film critic Gene Shalit, whose squirming posed more trouble than his moustache. "It means a great deal to the blind to feel what they (the celebrities) look like," especially the woman who exclaimed: "Oh, my God, so this is what Richard Nixon looks like!"