Mural depicts roots of Thomasville

May. 13, 2014 @ 10:50 AM

Dana Holliday has painted many murals throughout her artistic career.
Her latest one is the grandest of them all.
As part of the second phase of Chair City Art, a project of People Achieving Community Enhancement [PACE], Holliday is turning the backside of 2 W. Main St., next door to City Hall, into a giant mural. Standing 30 feet atop a scissor lift, Holliday spent Monday morning branching out a mural depicting a tree bearing a different kind of fruit – chairs.
“It kind of will grow as it goes,” said Holliday, a Thomasville native who started painting murals in 1999. “The tree is going to have chairs morphing out of it, as if they grow up through the tree. It's big. It's the biggest one I've done so far.”
Holliday's mural includes the top three entries in the Chair City Art contest held earlier this year. The contest was phase one of PACE's Chair City Art project, an initiative designed to generate interest and support for local businesses. Local artists designed abstract versions of chairs that were judged based on their creativity.
“The goal of the project is to bring tourists, young and old alike, into Thomasville and into the businesses to shop and eat and other words spend money,” said Nancy Higgins-Horner, chairman of Chair City Art, a subgroup of PACE. “One of the entries of the contest had a tree and had the history of chairs in it. [Michael Buie's] idea of the tree got us going with the tree mural. The root of Thomasville is in chairs and we're still growing and prospering.”
Phase three of the project revolves around producing some of the chairs. Holliday has a May 30 deadline to complete the mural, which is funded by a $1,000 grant from the N.C. Arts Council Grassroots Arts Subgrant program. Once the chairs are created, they will be placed throughout downtown, both inside and outside businesses, to attract attention to the area.
“We tried to do something a little different and creative,” said Higgins-Horner. “So many people come to Thomasville and take pictures of the Big Chair and then get in their car and leave. The purpose of the project is to let people know what businesses and restaurants are here.”
PACE is raising money through postcard and advertisement sales to fund the project.
Holliday said she takes pictures at the end of every day so she can go home and think about the progress she's made and how to approach the mural from there. She started the mural on May 7 and feels it will take three weeks to complete, weather permitting.
“What I do is work in layers,” Holliday said. “I felt like I had to get the tree on there first. I blocked in the tree, now I'm blocking in the chairs, getting them in position. You basically have to come up with a concept. We just came up with the idea and I drew up a sketch once they found the wall.”
For more information, call Higgins-Horner with Horner & Associates Surveying and Land Planning at 476-7211.

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or