Thursday, May 16, 2013

Art of Albuquerque

Albuquerque:  A desert-dwelling community split by a river oasis, stretching to red-hued mountains.

With that geography, I shouldn't have been surprised at Albuquerque's unique energy.  "Quirky Albuquerque," or "ABQ" as the town is known to air traffic controllers and locals, is a stew of old and new.

When I visited recently, I expected history and culture, good eats and interesting sights.  And found it all.  But most astonishing was the public art. Murals and mosaics covering industrial buildings, edging parking lots and decorating shops.  Turns out, ABQ has over 700 public artworks in the municipal collection--more than most cities twice the size.

On a short downtown walk, we discovered art of philosophy,

art of color and joy,

and art with a message.

Funded by a 1% sales tax voted in by residents.  Which makes them all artists, in a way.

Copyright 2009-2013 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. Wow, that is certainly a very artistic area, and all people are concerned. It is cold outside so the murals and paintings will not suffer, and onlookers can stay appreciating the works. Here it can't happen outdoors, impossible on all aspects!

  2. I know that place! Murals are so common in the Hispanic SW, but the sun is brutal on them or any painted surface eventually. Alot of public art, and I need to post one up by me before I move.

  3. A lovely observation - that everyone there in ABQ is an artist via their support of the public installations. Pretty sure that would never happen here in Austin, though I've long loved certain local installations that always seemed like "art" to me (various cenotaphs and the Daniel Johnston Hi, How Are You mural on the Drag...).

  4. Synchronicity is in the air. Over the past two days I have been researching New Mexico, considering a summer vacation there. Emailed my Albubu friend (easier than trying to spell Albuquerque ... yes, I copied and pasted). Wanted to white water raft in Taos, then Santa Fe, then down through Albubu and White Sands. Thought the teens would like the rafting but at the end of the day decided there would be too much car riding and the teens probably wouldn't like that. They don't seem to "get" the sight seeing, nature seeing aspect. A product of too any gadgets.

    And unhappy teens makes for unhappy drivers. So my husband and I will make the trip another time, just the two of us. I'm going to send your post to my Albubu friend.

  5. Hello from ABQ! We actually have over 700 public artworks in our municipal collection. Interestingly, the murals you selected are mostly private murals which speaks to your point about how incredibly supportive our community is towards art and especially murals! Thanks for covering us.
    Sherri Brueggemann, Public Art Program Manager.


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