PRHBTN making Lexington colorful, one wall at at time

PRHBtN mural “Moonshine” by How & Nosm, located on W. Short Street in Lexington, Ky., on Monday, April 20, 2015. Photo by Caleb Gregg | Staff

Skye Miller

Artists spanning the globe will continue to turn the Lexington skyline into art this year as part of the PRHBTN project. PRHBTN is a local organization created by John Winters and his wife, Jessica.

“I have always loved street art, I grew up in the Northeast where I was surrounded by it,” Winters said. “My wife, Jessica, and I were dating at the time, she was out of town and had asked me for a movie to watch and I suggest ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop,’ which is a documentary of popular graffiti artist Banksy. She fell in love and suggested starting our own street art festival. We just went from there.”

PRHBTN started as a local gallery, made for local artists to have a place to showcase and sell their art, with 100 percent of the profits for them to keep. They then moved to street murals throughout downtown Lexington with all profits coming from people donating to the organization.

“PRHBTN is an opportunity for artist to express themselves. Artists are not limited to what they create, however, they do know it is a chance to connect to the community and stray away from art that could be controversial,” Winters said.

In selecting locations in which artists are going to paint, Winters and his wife roam downtown Lexington looking for walls they think would look better as a mural. They then contact the owner in hopes for permission to paint their wall.

Artists are also given the freedom to choose between the walls in which to paint, that way they are able to better connect to their art and perfect the imagine they have in their head.

“PRHBTN is a passion project for us and the artist. The artists are not commissioned,” Winters said. “All the money that we make from donations goes straight into the art and the artist. We pay for literally everything from their traveling fees, to their hotel stays, food, all the supplies needed to create the artwork and anything they personally want while here.”

LexArts, a united arts foundation that raises money for the arts and donates it to art related organizations, has helped fund PRHBTN several times.

“PRHBTN brings a lot of international flavor to the city of Lexington and that is what we love about the organization. Art is meant to challenge the mind and allow people to open their minds to new things,” said Maury Sparrow, LexArts communications director.

Students looking to learn more or donate to the organization can visit its website,