It’s more than a visual documentation, more than graffiti taking on the moniker of a “legitimate” art piece (not that graffiti isn’t legitimate art in itself). It’s a community project that embraces the quirky world of artistic triumph. Put together by 516 ARTS and the Wells Park Neighborhood Association, in appropriate partnership with The City of Albuquerque Public Art & Urban Enhancement Program, these organizations added two new murals to the existing Wells Park Rail Runner Mural Project.
The project started in 2012, with four murals going up (the lead artists were Larry Bob Phillips, David Leigh, Nani Chacon, Nettrice Gaskins and Laurie Marion). Now it’s adding two new murals by Frank Buffalo Hyde and Jamison “Chas” Banks. Drawing on their Native American heritages, both artists sought to show work that not only symbolizes their cultures, but also represents the interconnectedness of artistic appreciation and the shared experience of being able to view these works forever. The newly completed murals are located in the Rail Runner Corridor, north of Downtown Albuquerque, between Mountain Rd. and I-40 along First Street.
Warehouse 508 has seen a spike in participation. They have the same number of events and the same facilities as always, but more and more youth are showing up. The difference may be Noah and Simon Kessler de St. Croix, two brothers who work hard to improve their community.
For the feature in the May 30 issue, I explored the adaptive reuse of a city-owned Route 66 motel in Upper Nob Hill. Read about why it’s a landmark, and how it’s being preserved here: The comeback of the De Anza Motor Lodge. Ty Bannerman supplemented the piece by writing about El Vado, another city-owned motel further down Route 66.
Zoning official uses graffiti to alter the urban landscape—and perceptions
By Graeme Prentice-Mott
John Lorne stands admiring a graffiti mural on Second Street and Kinley, near Downtown. It’s a portrait of a Native American spiritual leader who has feathers for hair and a face that appears flooded with the blue sky. “Look at the shading in there. Look at these lines,” he says in a Bronx accent. “Look at this eye.” He points an imaginary spray can close in against the wall to simulate a fine point.