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Albuquerque Murals Multiply Despite Pandemic

Arts and Culture News

Albuquerque has a rich history of expression through community art. This evident through the City of Albuquerque’s Public Art Program, which is one of the first kind in the country. In 1978 the program started with the Art in Municipal Places Ordinance, and set aside 1% of City construction funds derived from the general obligation bond program and certain revenue bonds for the purchase or commission of works of art. 

One of the most popular and visually stimulating forms of public art are murals. Sherri Bruggemann is the Director of the Public Art Program, and she says murals are a way for a community to express itself. “Murals allow people to express themselves, and we saw a clear need for that during the pandemic,” she said. 

Last year, the Public Art Program had selected 10 sites around the city and 10 artists just before the COVID pandemic began in March. “We had to put the program on hold for a bit until we fired out how to have virtual meetings and committee votes.” As a result, the mural project was delayed by three months. 

In addition to the city’s 10 commissioned murals, there were at least 15 other mural projects that popped up around the city last year. Businesses partnered with artists, and the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020 also spared more interest in murals representing community values. Bruggemann says a common theme was also the murals that paid homage to those who were lost, like local hip hop artist Wake Self, who was killed by a drunk driver. 

The Public Art Program has partnered with Muros de Burque, which is a community website built to serve the public and showcase all murals around the city. You can visit Muros de Burque at murosabq.com and map out your favorite sites and discover new treasures around ABQ!

This summer we celebrate public art in all forms and encourage our readers to discover their favorite murals, share them and tag us at #tellabq