By Angel Fuchs
Photos Courtesy of Aioli Gourmet Burgers

Aioli Gourmet Burgers has been serving award winning burgers since 2016 at its 32nd Street and Shea location. Inside, the walls are filled with fun décor, photos of eating competition winners, awards earned by chef and owner Tommy D’ Ambrosio, and other burger related art. However, outside on the patio, the décor lacked a sense of fun to tie everything together. In November 2021, Vivianna D’Ambrosio, director of sales and marketing at Aioli Gourmet Burgers, began the process of looking for a solution to improve their outdoor space.

“I’ve had it in my mind for years to eventually have a mural painted on the patio,” says D’Ambrosio. “We had this massive wall that was just begging to become a work of art.”

So D’Ambrosio reached out to a family friend who put her in contact with Jenny Jardine, the art teacher at Shadow Mountain High School (SMHS). D’Ambrosio proposed the idea of having art students paint a mural. Jardine knew exactly which students would be perfect for the project, seniors Kimberly “Kimmie” Brown, 18, and Eloise Rank, 18.

Brown and Rank are best friends who share a passion for art. They are students in Shadow Mountain’s North Valley Arts Academy (NVAA) program. The Aioli Burger mural provided a great opportunity to become their senior capstone project.

Rank has always had a passion for art and she’s an accomplished violinist. Brown’s foray into the arts started with involvement in theatre that evolved when she painted a mural in her bedroom while doing online school during the COVID-19 shutdown. She shared her art on social media where friends, family and teachers started asking for her to do murals for them.

Together Brown and Rank have painted murals on their school campus as well as at other schools within the Paradise Valley Unified School District. They have completed 10 murals during their senior year. “It’s really cool to have people like our work and want us to do murals for them,” says Brown. “We were so excited to create something at Aioli Burger.”
Having SMHS students paint the mural was special for co-owners Tommy D’Ambrosio and Kyle Hollenbeck, who are alumni and grew up in the neighborhood. “Supporting the local community is really important to us; it means so much to us to be able to help young people grow and thrive,” says D’Ambrosio.

The young artists began the mural in January. The final product took 41 hours to complete and depicts Aioli Burger’s origin as a food truck, a large saucy burger, and a giant strawberry milkshake along with geometric details done in the brand’s signature color palette.

The mural was officially unveiled on April 18 and a portion of that day’s proceeds went back to Shadow Mountain High School’s art program.

“We love how it turned out,” say D’Ambrosio. “It was a pleasure working with Eloise and Kimmie.”

You can see more of Brown and Rank’s work on Instagram @Eloiseandkimmie.murals.