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Editorial: Making ABQ a work of art

So, about that colorful 100-foot snake painted on the wall along Broadway at Lead … .

The serpent is the first of 11 murals being created by more than 30 artists in Downtown over the next few days under the banner of the 508 Mural Fest – which runs through Sept. 23.

“We wanted to get artists and businesses together to showcase the good in Downtown,” said Jay Spang, executive director of Warehouse 508, a 9-year-old nonprofit that serves as an incubator of sorts for aspiring young artists. And Downtown can certainly use some literal brightening up.

A cadre of artists and volunteers is busy creating murals at Amy Biehl High School, Tractor Brewing Co., Sidetrack Brewing Co., q-Staff Theatre, Valliant Printing, Relic Alley, Sister Bar and Van Buren Middle School. A map and other information about the project at

The mural fest is privately funded by Maddox & Co. Realtors, though a bevy of community sponsors have stepped in to donate paint and other materials. Artists get paid for their works, which will permanently improve the Downtown vibe.

Besides snake-painter Thomas Christopher Haag, the artists include Bikismo, Bearface, Bird-noise, Micah Black, Mick Burson, Ruben Cantu, Ray Chavez, Jazmyn Crosby, Christian Michael Gallegos, Ben Harrison, Jodie Herrera, Aron Kalii, Emanuel Martinez, Masterful Mosaics, TJ Meade, James Montoya, Larry Bob Phillips, David Polka, Stray, Richard van Schouwen, Phillip Vigil, Natalie Voelker and Watermelon 7.

A stroll Downtown to check out the murals would be well worth your while, and expanding this artistic endeavour across the city would be well worth exploring.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.