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Winston-Salem’s new giant murals downtown: The woman behind the paintbrush

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — In an already artsy downtown Winston-Salem, it’s hard to miss all the new eye catching, giant murals popping up.

“It’s been crazy, amazing, so fun,” said Laura Lashley, the artist behind all the new murals. “I don’t sign anything I do, but when people see them around town, they usually know it’s me.”

Lashley has had quite the year this year as a paid artist. She worked as an art teacher for years, but decided to take the plunge and follow her passion to be a full time artist two years ago, when she was 41 years old. “Even if it’s terrifying, I try to say ‘yes’ and get more comfortable with stuff. It’s just been really great. Painting is like meditation for me, I’m just loving what I get to do.”

Private businesses and homeowners are hiring her to paint on the sides of buildings and walls. Her mural at Bailey Park is about 100 feet long. “I wanted it to be like the sun and sky, soft, not too bright and fun. I really like the way it turned out.”

Lashley paints some of her bigger projects with the help of adults with disabilities from The Enrichment Center in Winston Salem. “One day, I just realized that you only get one chance at life, so why not make the most of it. I love that I get to do this.”

If you know of a woman doing inspiring things here in the Piedmont, send us an email at

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