Their mission is to paint Colorado’s plains. Meet the duo behind ‘Some Girls and a Mural’

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Audrey Sayles and Staci Beaufort, “Some Girls and a Mural,” pose for a photo near their “Heart of Harvest” mural on the Norag grain bin in downtown Limon, May 20, 2024. Their hand-painted van’s license plate is SOMGIRLS.

A 60-foot-tall burst of color greets drivers pulling westbound into Limon, Colo. on Main Street. “Heart of Harvest” is a colossal painting on a grain bin by artists Staci Beauford and Audrey Sayles. The duo call themselves, “Some Girls and a Mural.”

Our goal is “to paint the plains,” said Beauford, as she sat in the backyard of a home in Limon where they were preparing to start their 98th piece. On Army veteran Everett Churchwell’s garage, they will depict his time as a helicopter crew chief in Vietnam.

“This is honoring the guys he served with, honoring his time, and his family, and it’s going to include a big American flag,” added Sayles.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Audrey Sayles, left, and Staci Beaufort, "Some Girls and a Mural," work on a piece depicting a scene from the Vietnam War for Everett Churchwell, at his Limon home, May 20, 2024.
Everett Churchwell has his arm around his wife Norma as they stand in front of a mural in Limon depicting his Army helicopter service in Vietnam.
Courtesy: Some Girls and a Mural
Everett and Norma Churchwell, of Limon, stand in front of their new mural, which honors Everett's service in Vietnam. The artists go by "Some Girls and a Mural."

Their other canvases include a barn in Seibert, a beef shop in Flagler, a library in Burlington, and a water tower in Bennett. They are creating what they call a mural trail.

“Art is needed in these rural communities and we have a thriving business, so we’re not going to stop,” Beauford said.

“My mom repeatedly said, ‘You need to go to art school’ And I said, ‘I can not be an artist in a small town,” recalled Beauford. “So now we really fight to tell students, ‘You can do what you want in a small town.’”

Sayles, who grew up in Seibert, gave up her job as a history teacher to do this full-time. Beauford juggles motherhood, and used to balance a young child on her hip as she painted.

They have gradually embraced the label, “artist.”

In 2018, when Beauford and Sayles started out, a mural business lucrative enough to support two families was not on their minds. Beauford had painted a modest American flag when Limon’s then-mayor reached out with hopes for something larger.

That is how their first, and arguably most ambitious project, the aforementioned “Heart of Harvest,” was born. It shows a farmer in a ballcap playing with a child. Sky, landscapes, and a combine harvester in John Deere green fill both figures. Wheat grows between them. All of this is on a 70-foot-tall structure.

“We had a company come out from Denver that does projections for cinema, and they were able to project the outline for us on that large scale,” Beauford explained.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Audrey Sayles and Staci Beaufort’s “Heart of Harvest” mural on the Norag grain bin in downtown Limon, May 20, 2024, is one of their most recognizable works.

To trace the projection, the work had to be done when it was dark, and the women used glow sticks to direct a bucket truck operator below.

“Growing up on a farm, you just figure out how to do it. That’s what we saw our dads and moms and everyone in our family do.”

Sayles then shared images of the finished work on Facebook and the post garnered more than 100,000 likes.

“For us, in a town of maybe 3,500, we felt like we went about as viral as we could.”

Since then, they have crisscrossed the plains with their paintbrushes, including their favorite brush, which they named “Chuck.”

“He’s very good for clouds,” according to Beauford.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Audrey Sayles and Staci Beaufort, "Some Girls and a Mural," painted this homage to the late actor John Wayne on the side of the Lincoln Theatre movie house in Limon.

Some Girls and a Mural make rural people (they use the term “frontier communities”) feel seen.

“We like to always say that we’re trying to bring the art out of the community, instead of onto a community,” said Beauford.

“We want people that come through our towns to say that there’s life here,” Sayles added proudly. “We love to talk about historical things, but we also want the idea, too, that better days aren’t behind us. There is progress, there is movement forward in our small communities.”

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Tools of their trade for Audrey Sayles and Staci Beaufort, "Some Girls and a Mural," in Limon, May 20, 2024. The two women have painted murals on public and private spaces all over the Great Plains.