Archived Story

Mariotti’s magic flows onto Tryon art scene

Published 9:28am Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Her work demonstrates a delicate balance between free-flowing creative force and a careful discipline steeped in thousands of years of tradition.

“Life contains short happiness and good memories, but art lasts beyond even the memory of happiness,” Mariotti said.

Mariotti not only enjoys classical techniques, but also continually invents new artistic techniques. Her portfolio includes exquisite wearable textile art, Chinese style paintings, and cards. Her artistic observations often result in serendipitous solutions. She noticed that toilet bowl cleaner bleached out color in fabrics, and now she has created a line of T-shirts adorned with portraits of beloved pets. After bleaching out the chosen form, she draws and shades with pen to create wearable memories.

“There’s nothing bad about art. If you don’t like something you’ve done in art, you can do it again,” Mariotti said.

Mariotti arrived in Tryon in 2008, where she enjoys her home and studio with her 10-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Rudy. She teaches a Thursday morning painting class, and maintains her website, She’s become the director of events at Tryon Arts and Crafts School, and vice president of Tryon Painters and Sculptors, where the group show “Inspired by Matisse” will open May 11.

Mariotti’s next class will be folding, tying and dyeing in the shibori textile tradition. Students will make three shibori silk scarves.

“When I teach, I bring out the creativity within and awaken the creative spirit of my students,” Mariotti said. “Tryon has wonderful people.”

Tryon felt familiar to Mariotti from the start. The IGA store in town is almost identical to one owned by her parents. They met during World War II at a dance on a pier, a U.S. serviceman and a young Englishwoman. Mariotti’s traveled to Italy, and lived in California and New York before taking root here.

“I love living here in the woods,” she said. “There’s inspiration everywhere. Last fall, I did a series based on my neighbors’ driveways. You can feel anonymous in a big city. Here, there’s a more substantial lifestyle.”

Mariotti can be reached at or 828-859-8392.

Editor’s note: The Tryon Daily Bulletin and columnist Kiesa Kay will present personality profiles every Tuesday. These profiles will focus on the people and organizations that make Tryon so unique. If you have suggestions for people to feature, please feel free to contact Kay at 

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