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Why is there a Stella Artois mural in NoDa?

Osiris Rain's mural on 35th and N. Davidson streets
Osiris Rain's mural on 35th and N. Davidson streets

Last week, NoDa saw the addition of four new murals to two different buildings on North Davidson Street. Three can be found on the Solstice Tavern walls, and another can be found on the wall at 35th and North Davidson streets.

Brand the Moth, an artist collaborative coordinated by Sam Guzzie, brought together Nick Napoletano, Jonay Di Ragno and Brittani “Georgie” George to paint two sides of Solstice Tavern’s building at 3221 N. Davidson St. According to Georgie, 26, she was invited by Guzzie to be a part of a team of artists to create a visual mural for Solstice that was “full of life and color.”

“They trusted us with the visual direction,” she said.

Georgie viewed her responsibility as adding her piece of the puzzle while connecting Napoletano’s and Di Ragno’s work.

She said, “I like to consider the theme of the business and the spirit of the business so that I can funnel and direct what I am going to do into something that everyone will enjoy.”

Napoletano, 26, took six days to paint the mural on the front of Solstice Tavern. His design centered around the name of the tavern and pulled symbols from the community.

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The front of Solstice Tavern

Nick Napoletano – Solstice Tavern front
Nick Napoletano's mural on the front of Solstice Tavern

“Basically, (I took) inspiration from the Solstice movement,” he said. “The actual image was essentially highlighting the role the solstice movement used to play in people’s lives back then.”

Napoletano added ribbons to the design to mimic the rhythm of the sun. He and Mike Todd, his business partner, designed another layer to the mural, an augmented reality piece, which will be added in the coming months.

“It will look like it’s moving, talking, shifting, interacting with people,” he said. “It will move with people’s movements and music, and it will come to life in a whole new way.”

Di Ragno, 38, painted the abstract art on the other side of the Solstice building. His geometric form brings yet another type of mural design to this one building.

The side of Solstice Tavern

“In our group, I am the abstract expressionism,” said Di Ragno. “I bring the golden ratio. It goes back to the 1300 and 1400s. It is geometric shape that inspires perfection.”

Osiris Rain also took six days to paint his mural, “Art of the Chalice,” on the corner of North Davidson and 35th streets. He was approached by Stella Artois to be a part of a campaign to paint murals across several cities in the United States.

Osiris Rain – 35th and N. Davidson
Osiris Rain's mural on 35th and N. Davidson streets

Rain, 31, worked with the company on the design to bring together the image of Charlotte and Stella Artois beer. Rain’s pink cast on his leg from a long board accident added an extra challenge to painting the mural, especially the figures he designed. When fellow artist Napoletano finished his mural down the block, he jumped in to help.

“I have to give Nick props,” Rain said. “I started [the figures] and he came through and finished them so I could do things that didn’t require climbing a ladder.”

Rain supports the idea of adding more murals in a community like NoDa because the art attracts more people to the area to support the local businesses and artists. He also likes how they look.

“I am just a sucker for beauty and want people to see pretty things,” he said. “They don’t necessarily have to mean anything too deep.”

Follow these artists on Instagram: Jonay Di Ragno, Georgie, Nick Napoletano, Osiris Rain, Brand the Moth

Photos: Vanessa Infanzon, Garden of Journey