Artist adds sunshine and flowers to Clemmons building

Published 2:17 pm Tuesday, November 28, 2023

By Chandler Inions

The Clemmons Courier

CLEMMONS – The owner of Clemmons-based Hip Chics Boutique wanted to bring a little joy and sunshine to passersby of Allen’s Cove Shopping Center.

Familiar with a Mocksville muralist’s work, she commissioned him to brighten up her building.

Kristina Prysiazniuk opened Hip Chics 16 years ago, and the business has continued to grow. As she explored ways to liven up the exterior of the building, one thing kept coming back to her.

“I wanted it to be happy,” Prysiazniuk said. “I want people to ride down this road, and it makes them smile.”

She decided on a mural that depicts a sunny landscape full of Gerber Daisies.

“The sunshine part of it, my mother has always said that you are my sunshine,” Prysiazniuk said. “She would come in the morning and say that every day. I say it to my daughter as well.”

Prysiazniuk and Stacy Mayhew began brainstorming ideas for the mural.

“One of our employees said that there were some beautiful murals in Mocksville and that she would find out who did those,” Mayhew said.

The two discovered that the artist, who previously owned an art studio in Farmington, had moved to Baltimore in 2021. Determined to commission his talents, Prysiazniuk reached out to that artist, Bruce White, to explore her possibilities.

White is from Winston-Salem. He lived in Davie County for years, raising a family and creating a life there. The move to Maryland was precipitated by a professional opportunity for his wife, who works in autism research.

While White may have physically moved, he left behind a number of murals throughout Davie County.

“In downtown Mocksville, I have (a mural) on the Station General Store and Tap Room,” White said. “On the back of that building, it looks like a 1970s postcard.”

Over the years, White painted murals all over Davie County, but his impact did not stop there.

At his studio on Farmington Road, he used to host art classes for students of all ages and abilities. White detected an inclined artistic community that was just waiting to step out through those classes, and he spent 13 years working on the Davie County Arts Council to expand offerings in the area.

After getting in touch with Prysiazniuk, White began a draft that incorporated the boutique owner’s vision.

“Kristina had seen some other murals with flowers,” White said. “They wanted something bright with flowers and a sun. So I did a mock-up, a small painting, and sent it to them.”

They tinkered with the concept until it was just right, and then White made the trek back down to N.C.

For White, it was a welcomed homecoming. With so much family still in the area, he was able to combine business with pleasure, getting to spend time with grandkids, children and siblings.

He began the mural on Oct. 9, measuring the space and using chalk to outline Prysiazniuk’s concept.

White worked for 10 days from sunrise to sunset as he brought the image to life. Then, when we would get off, he would jet over to Greensboro, Lexington or even Charlotte to see family.

Having spent so much time with White, Prysiazniuk called him one of the nicest people she has ever met, and his work is having the desired effect.

“I cannot begin to tell you the people who have called and said, ‘When I drive by there it makes me smile,'” Prysiazniuk said.

Mayhew added, “We wanted something bright and happy and cheerful. We wanted to add a little joy … We were hoping people would stop by and have their picture made with the mural.

“We have seen people taking photos with it and have had people stop and pull over in the nearby parking lot and just look at it.”

Having the art to brighten up her store and the days of Clemmons commuters, it’s easy for Prysiazniuk to look at White’s mural and think: mission accomplished.