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Greensboro artist designs murals for the Shops at Friendly Center
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Greensboro artist designs murals for the Shops at Friendly Center

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GREENSBORO — Local artist Gina Elizabeth Franco has designed murals for the open-air gathering area of The Shops at Friendly Center.

The four art pieces — totaling eight panels — each measures 15 feet by 7 feet. They honor the state, community and the role the shopping center has played in bringing economic opportunity and family fun to the region.

Franco's mural designs have been printed on fabric to be displayed at The Shops at Friendly Center, said Sarah Kotelnicki, Friendly Center marketing director.

One specifically depicts iconic Friendly Center landmarks and historic moments in the shopping center’s history.

“This is a full circle moment for me because I grew up hanging out and shopping at Friendly Center,” Franco said in Friday's announcement about the murals.

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“This project resurfaced so many fun memories and, hopefully, will inspire more kids and families to make their own memories and traditions at Friendly Center," Franco said.

Friendly Center will hold a ribbon-cutting and grand opening with the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce at noon April 23 in the Art Yard just outside Ben & Jerry’s.

The public is invited to enjoy photo opportunities with the murals, free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream scoops and conversation with Franco. She will provide complimentary and exclusive postcard prints of the murals until 1 p.m.

“Our vision in working with Gina to create the Friendly Art Yard," Kotelnicki said in Friday's announcement, "was to bring joyful memories to locals who see it and to create an inviting space for families, friends, employees and shoppers to enjoy the open-air space as they create new memories and traditions at Friendly Center."

Shoppers, diners and community members are invited to the enjoy Friendly's Art Yard during shopping center hours and interact with the murals with photos on social media.

All photos tagged with the center's hashtag (#ShopFriendlyCenter) are entered into a monthly gift card drawing.

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