INDIVIDUAL - SCAD ID - #458
Richland County, SC
Maria DeFelice is a multi-faceted muralist who aspires to bring art to all. Born and raised in Columbia, SC, Maria’s artistic journey has taken her overseas, leaving an impactful mark where she goes.
Growing up in Columbia, Maria discovered her love for art at an early age. Though primarily self-taught, in 2010 Maria began experimenting with murals – starting in her own home, friends’ homes, local small businesses and beyond.
Maria’s artistic journey took an unexpected turn when she spent five transformative years living in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The Middle Eastern influence is evident in the fusion of colors, patterns, and themes that characterize her work. While living in UAE, Maria completed murals for many hotels, bars, restaurants, private schools, nature reserves, charities, private homes, and more. She published a coloring book “Color UAE”, exhibited with Abu Dhabi Art Hub, and painted a mural for the California Housing Authority in Sacramento, CA.
From the skyscrapers of Dubai to the historic streets of Charleston, Maria’s murals show her ability to adapt her artistic vision to diverse environments. Aside from art, Maria enjoys baking, playing the piano, and exploring the outdoors with her family and sheepadoodle, Leo. As a mother of three, Maria has a special place in her heart for children and aims to bring artistic experiences to children who might otherwise not be able to visit a traditional art gallery or art museum.
Every mural is an opportunity to tell a story, evoke emotions, and inspire those who encounter her work.
As a muralist hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, my artistic journey is deeply rooted in a commitment to making art a shared experience for all. My primary goal is to dissolve the traditional boundaries of art galleries and museums, reaching those who might not otherwise have access to these spaces.
Growing up surrounded by the vibrant culture of Columbia, I discovered my passion for art at an early age. Now, as a muralist, I embark on a mission to bring the art gallery to the public, turning city walls into canvases that tell stories and evoke emotions. Each mural is a deliberate effort to make art an integral part of everyday life.
My work extends beyond aesthetics; it’s a conscious effort to engage communities and create connections. By adorning public spaces with vibrant colors and dynamic compositions, I aim to spark inspiration and bring a sense of wonder to diverse audiences. From the charming streets of Columbia to unexpected locations around the world, I adapt my artistic vision to weave narratives that resonate universally.
I have a special place in my heart for children, and I started an initiative called “Walls Alive!” directly aimed at bringing public art to schools. My goal is to have the students engaged in the entire mural process: discussing themes, brain-storming, sketching, and even assisting in painting the mural. I feel that including them throughout the process creates a sense of ownership and community for the students and school.
Being a muralist is not just about creating visually striking pieces; it’s about fostering inclusivity and accessibility. I am particularly passionate about reaching those who might never step into a traditional art gallery. Art should be for everyone, and through my murals, I aspire to make it a part of the fabric of everyday life, enriching communities with creativity and storytelling.