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Winston-Salem business owner features work in 2021 Winston-Salem Fashion Week

Despite obstacles, Artist Antonina Whaples continues to create.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Art is more than just creative expression for Antonina Whaples. It is a lifestyle.

“As a multi-media artist my job is to create beautiful things to put into the store to get other artists involved so that we can build an art economy,” Whaples said.

She’s the co-owner of Kindred Spirits in Downtown Winston-Salem. Kindred Spirits is a retail boutique that sells fine art, jewelry, holistic healing herbs, and more.

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Whaples said the business continues to bounce back after briefly closing due to COVID-19

“On a personal, I’ve been struggling to heal from two traumatic brain injuries,” Whaples said. “One that I sustained in 2016 and the other in 2018. So, doing this work and managing it on top of medical appointments, it’s been a lot to manifest.”

Despite these obstacles, she continues to create. Her designs will be featured in this year’s Winston-Salem Fashion Week.

“There are some beautiful large-format paintings on fabric, so you’ll be able to see some really beautiful renderings, some portraiture on the runway including a really beautiful painting of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a really lovely painting of Simone Biles.”

The theme for this year’s showcase is, It’s All About the Decades of the 80s and 90s with a focus on upcycling and sustainable fashion.

Upcycling is an art technique Whaples said she is inspired by in her own creations.

“For the last four years all I have done is create upcycle artwork,” she explained. “So, painting plates, painting old computers, painting broken TVs.”

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Winston-Salem dubbed the City of Art and Innovation is a title Whaples said fashion week truly embodies.

“It gives a lot of opportunities to creatives of this area to showcase their talent and to also build industry,” Whaples said.

Winston-Salem Fashion Week is Sept. 17-25.