‘It was just begging for a mural.’ Lexington’s girlsgirlsgirls Burritos gets a makeover


Brady Saylor

The view of Studio Mel Designs’ mural for girlsgirlsgirls Burritos on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Brady Saylor | Staff

Morgan Loy, Reporter

Local Lexington restaurant girlsgirlsgirls Burritos hosted a mural reveal party on Nov. 30.

Sara Wood, an owner of girlsgirlsgirls, said she had been interested in finding an artist to paint the restaurant’s exterior since they moved locations in 2018.

“We’ve had conversations with different artists from out of town and local, and no one quite saw our vision,” Wood said.

She said Lynsay Christensen and Hayley Harris, the sibling-artist duo and owners of Studio Mel Designs, fit the bill.

Wood wanted the mural to be colorful and representative of women’s bodies and the restaurant.

“We kept talking about all women; we wanted it to be representative of all women,” Harris said.

Wood said the mural will help her accurately portray her restaurant to new students moving in every semester.

“Now someone who is overstimulated and experiencing a whole new level in their life can look at it and see what we are offering, and it really ties into the safe space we have here,” she said.

Wood said she had known Christensen and Harris for over a decade and trusted their creative decisions for the mural.

The opportunity to collaborate with a familiar woman-owned business piqued the artists’ interest. They said they thought the outside of the restaurant did not match the interior.

“It was just begging for a mural,” Harris said.

Christensen, Harris and Wood said they collaborated closely to create the mural. Wood explained her ideas, and Christensen and Harris interpreted them into designs.

Christensen said Wood wanted to display three strong women in the mural and that they incorporated them on bicycles to honor the restaurant’s mode for food deliveries.

The artists based the three women on bicycles displayed in the mural on women they know personally. These models are Danielle Perron, Shantai Calhoun and Theann Rivera.

Calhoun said that Harris is her co-worker and approached her about modeling for the mural.

She said the artists explained that they wanted bright and colorful models, and her outfit caught Harris’ eye.

Perron, Harris’ wife, said she felt nervous about modeling for the mural at first but is excited to be a part of it now.

“I have had several people that I know ask if that’s me,” she said. “I love this business, and it’s cool that I’ll be up there for a long time.”

Christensen and Harris said they chose models they knew personally to ensure they could pose and photograph them. They used these photographs as references for the mural.

Wood explained that she wanted the Nov. 30 event to celebrate the accomplishment of the mural. She said it was a complicated process but worth it in the end.

“The front of our building now matches what you experience in here,” she said.

Wood said Lexington is becoming an art town, with artworks like that on girlgirlsgirls becoming more popular around the city.

She wanted the mural reveal event to honor the artists and bring attention to the mural. She said the mural is unique and that she is excited for people exploring Lexington to see it.

“I’ve not seen any others in town that are as bright and vibrant as what’s here. It’s really neat to add that diversity to the art that’s going on in town,” she said.