CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's no secret the Queen City is growing.
With that growth comes change, not just to our beautiful skyline, but also within the Queen City's culture. And one local artist isn't taking that change sitting down.
With a spray can in hand, Nick Napoletano is attempting to influence Charlotte's cultural transformation through his craft.
"I wanted to build a piece that would act as a positive catalyst and try to drive positive change in a way that's more dynamic in the city," Napoletano says.
Napoletano's influential piece comes in the shape of a massive mural created solely by spray paint and is located along the North Tryon Corridor. The mural has taken nearly two months to come to near-completion and stretches 140 ft. long by 17 ft. tall along the side of Aerial CLT.
"I interviewed a lot of people prior to tackling this about what they thought Charlotte needed to see," Napoletano says.
Napoletano says he was inspired by others' input as well as current events, drawing most recently from the women's march that swept the nation. After seeing millions of women come together, he decided to create a piece to continue that feeling of empowerment.
"I interviewed a whole bunch of different women and variety of different people," Napoletano says. "(The mural) is seven different women of all different ethnicities."
The mural features the faces of seven different women of diverse background. Their commonality? They are all real, live Charlottean women.
Napoletano says he chose each of the women in an effort to encourage images of diversity to be seen on a public stage in the Queen City.
"Public art has the capacity to pave the future of this city and create a vision for what 'could be,' so with the amount of growth that's happening in Charlotte I wanted to make a piece as a stepping stone in what I want Charlotte to ultimately become," Napoletano says.
As for his vision of Charlotte's future, Napoletano sees diversity being a centerpiece of our culture.
"We need to see more diverse faces and that's why we've catalyzed this project."
Nick Napoletano's mural is being created as a "virtual reality" piece by him and his business partner, Mike Todd. The group, called Twoform, have developed a technique called 'augmented oil painting.' Click here to see a video example. The mural is being created in part to a grant provided from Charlotte's Arts & Science council as well as a donation from Aerial CLT and other donors.
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