Marianne DiNapoli-Mylet is known for her murals in and around the Winston-Salem area.
He was around 13 when he painted his first large-scale mural – a giant foot that covered the entire ceiling of his bedroom in his home in Westmont, NJ
“My parents had five children and we didn’t have a lot of money, so they didn’t have a lot of money to fix my room and they let me paint on the walls and ceiling,” DiNapoli-Mylet said.
Now, he has turned his attention to large sculptural female forms called Sojourn STICKITs.
MuralsArt has always been part of DiNapoli-Mylet’s life.
“I painted and drew,” he said.
After marrying Tom Mylet in 1975, she and her husband moved from Westmont to the mountains of Virginia a year later.
“I started painting the musicians there and getting involved with the music,” DiNapoli-Mylet said. “These are the first places I did my first mural that wasn’t in my bedroom. I did a mural in the Grayson County Library, Virginia.
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Five years later, the couple moved to Camden, New Jersey, where DiNapoli-Mylet was at an art exhibit, then were invited to join a group of anti-graffiti murals.
“We worked with graffiti artists and I taught them traditional painting techniques,” he said. “But I also learned a lot from them about the different nozzles and the different spray painting techniques. It was a mutual agreement between the artists ”.
His large outdoor murals in Camden included an RCA mural and a breakdance mural that caught the attention of neighborhood children.
“They were so excited that one day they went out with their boombox and their cardboard and danced for us while we painted the mural,” he said. “It was like a real event. I felt like, ‘I want to do this forever. At that point I was really bitten, I think, by the murals.
In 1989, the couple had a daughter and moved to Winston-Salem.
DiNapoli-Mylet made his first mural in the city in the early 1990s at the nursery school of the Episcopal Church of St Paul as a memorial to a child in his daughter’s class who was killed in an accident. Her first mural in her center was “The Tobacco Market” in the former Mother and Daughter building on the corner of Fourth and Trade Street.
“In the end, I had done about 40 murals,” he said of his life’s work as a muralist.
Three of his murals are still available for viewing in downtown Winston-Salem. They are located in The Chronicle building on Fifth Street, his former studio on Trade Street block 600 near Sweet Potatoes and the CVS building on Fourth Street.
STICKITs When the pandemic hit, DiNapoli-Mylet began making small stick sculptures called STICKITs in March 2020.
“They were about 21 inches tall,” he said. “I was really just trying to keep busy.”
He found inspiration in the growing pile of sticks that fell from trees on the porch of his backyard studio.
“I started picking up these sticks and said, ‘It looks like a leg and this looks like an arm’, so they turned into these STICKITs,” DiNapoli-Mylet said. “And I felt like, in that moment, with the pandemic and everything that happens politically, there is a lot to stick to.”
After posting them on Facebook, people started asking if they could buy them. To date, it has sold more than 30.
People also started telling her that she had to make them bigger, so eventually, she got bigger with her creations.
In March 2021, DiNapoli-Mylet began working at Winston-Salem’s Mixxer Makerspace to learn how to weld armor for its nearly 7-foot STICKIT Sojourn which were exhibited in the grounds of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston. -Salem in October 2021.
“A lot of people came and took pictures with them, like dancing with them,” she said.
DiNapoli-Mylet uses the word “Sojourn” because they travel.
The second iteration of his Sojourn STICKITs is on display until November 12 at Minglewood Farm and Nature Preserve, a non-profit organization focused on teaching sustainable food production and environmental protection to people of all ages in Westfield. These pieces are made with sticks, garment paper and lace, which DiNapoli-Mylet says is the “work of women and nature”, on welded metal armor.
Looking like magical female beings, three Sojourn STICKITS – Aziza, Ceyla and Brielle – stand at the entrance to one of Minglewood’s many trails.
The fact that there are three of them has a symbolic meaning.
“I’m one of the three sisters,” DiNapoli-Mylet said. “I am one of three women in my nuclear family. I have two daughters, me and my husband “.
“And the three most important women in my life who really influenced me were my mother, my grandmother and my aunt,” she added.
Margie Imus said she and her husband, Bill Imus, co-owners and co-founders of Minglewood, are thrilled to have the DiNapoli-Mylet STICKIT figures on the farm.
“I, in my previous life, was an artist, so I really appreciate these STICKITs,” said Imus. “Marianne did a fabulous job of creating their movement and creating their dance here at the edge of the forest in Minglewood.
“They look very nice in the morning to wake up and we had kids here just yesterday dancing around them. They couldn’t believe these figures were made of sticks.
“And they have such great movement. As the wind pushes their skirts and the wind pushes their hair. I love taking art out of nature, so it’s wonderful to have these life-sized sculptures made by Marianne here on the farm. “
DiNapoli-Mylet describes a STICKIT as a sculptural form in static motion.
She said that the sticks that are “twisted, twisted and adhered to a welded metal armor become languid and living archetypes, celebrating the powerful female expression.”
He added that his STICKIT “honors the magic of nature, trees, and the matriarchal and immigrant influence” of his youth.
“These women who take a stand highlight the power of the women’s movement,” she said.
She also called Sojourn STICKIT a forest of STICKIT that “celebrates the importance of female relationships and demonstrates formidable rhythm, a strong female heritage and the healing cathartic vitality of the opera movement.”