Maria Merlino in the News
Philadelphia Artist joins Nipple Project
Philadelphia's top crochet designer and multimedia artist Maria
Merlino has joined forces with The Nipple Project. Maria has designed a
nipple pattern, called Anatomical Model 1.
The pattern was designed as a fund raiser for the Susan G. Koman
Breast Cancer Foundation. All proceeds from the sale of this pattern
will be donated to the foundation.
"I'm thrilled to be on board with this endeavor," Maria says. "Andrea
and Jennifer have provided an opportunity for artists and creative types
to submit three-dimensional interpretations of the human nipple. Their
motive is to reclaim the nipple as a positive expression of femininity."
These submissions will be joined together as a wall unit and unveiled
October 2006 in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Visit Maria's site at
www.crochetliving.com. The crochet pattern is available there under
Signature Patterns, Anatomical Model 1.
From the Passenger
By Loretta Jackson | Editor
"I wish to give back to society. That's why I
started a children's charity called: A Stocking Full
Maria Merlino doesn't drive. "Oh, I've had learner's
permits over the years and driving school courses,
but for some reason I just can't pass the test! I
have to rely on public transportation to get
around," she said. PATCO became her chauffeur.
"I wouldn't dream of imposing myself by asking my
relatives and pals for rides back and forth. PATCO
is a convenient alternative," she added.
Maria, a South Philly resident, often utilizes
her time on the train by brain-storming creative
ideas. "When I was a student at Epiphany of Our Lord
School, the Sisters of St. Joseph drilled into us
that an idle mind was the devil's workshop. My mind
is always coming up with so many new projects, it's
hard to keep up," she laughed.
Maybe that's why Maria has had such a varied
career. "I started out in the sciences, but I needed
to develop the right side of my brain." She has
appeared live in music venues, mostly fronting her
own blues Band. In addition, she is a Ringling Bros.
& Barnum and Bailey Clown College graduate. Her
antics made radio history on the Howard Stern Show
and she was often the emcee at the famed but now
defunct Comedy Factory Outlet in Philadelphia.
But entertainment is only the tip of the iceberg
in Maria's ocean. Active in local politics, Maria
ran for Philadelphia City Council, tackling the
issues of quality of life, fair wages and animal
advocacy. "I refuse to stay home behind shuttered
windows. I campaigned all over the city on public
transportation. Although I didn't win, my grass
roots Movement netted me endorsements from the
firefighters Local 22, the AFL-CIO and numerous
animal rights activists."
Maria also gets inspiration while engaging in the
healing arts. As massage therapist to professional
sports figures, her patients have included NBA star
Dikembe Motombo, boxing diva Jackie Frazier and
former Eagle Cecil Martin.
"Right now, my passion is needlework. My crochet
patterns have appeared in numerous magazines and
hard-backed books. One of my patriotic, political
afghans was selected to be displayed at the
Republican National Convention held in Philly."
She feels very blessed in her life with her many
God-given talents and gifts. "I wish to give back to
society. That's why I started a children's charity
called A Stocking Full of Love. Last year, with the
help of IBEW Local 98, and friends on the Internet,
I collected and distributed more than 200 hand-made
Christmas stockings to children all over the
Delaware Valley." Looking back on the nun's adage
one can see that Maria certainly took it to heart.
Instead of the devil's workshop, her mind is Santa's