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Virtual tour: MurosABQ features more than 100 works of art on Duke City walls

Muralist Victor Ving paints a 1930s’-style postcard on the wall of the Bristol Doughnut Co. building at Central and Bryn Mawr NE. This is Bing’s 37th mural; he is traveling around the country painting murals. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Some walls are meant to be broken down.

In the case of MurosABQ, the walls highlighted on the website are meant to bring people together.

With social distancing being the topic of conversation these days, Sandy Hill’s website gives people a way to see the many public murals around Albuquerque.

“In Albuquerque, our walls bring people together,” Hill says on her site. “Throughout our vibrant city, you’ll see our diverse culture expressed not just through the color of our skin, but through the color on our walls. Take a journey into the heart of who we are and discover the murals of Albuquerque.”

Hill’s journey in creating a space where art can be viewed anytime began after a trip to Buenos Aires, where she had a tour with graffitimundo, a nonprofit that celebrates street art.

She then designed the site through her Studio Hill Design.

Hill says some cities, such as Buenos Aires, realize the value of their public art.

Coming back to Albuquerque, she saw the opportunity to build a useful resource to get visibility for Albuquerque murals and share them with visitors.

In recent weeks, Hill has added 12 more murals to the site, which now lists more than 100 murals, along with location, a photo and a short biography of the artist.

Visit the site and you will see the names of prominent artists – both internationally and locally. The city is chock-full of gems from artists such as Sam Flores, Cloudface, Frederico Vigil, PAZ, Jaque Fragua, Benjamin Johnston and Jodie Herrera.

“We’re excited that the site has been getting a lot more traction,” Hill says. “It’s been my dream since the beginning. There’s been a huge amount of work on the front end. It’s taken a lot of people to help us.”

Hill began the project as a public service.

With no budget or time, Hill says, the site was abandoned about a year ago.

Then she applied for a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

“We got that,” she says. “Then within a week of finding that out, the city got this money from the state and they wanted to use the money to collaborate with us on the site. It’s been a long time coming.”

Hill says there are plenty of hidden gems in MurosABQ.

Take, for instance, a mural from acclaimed street artist Sam Flores at 111 Fourth SW.

Flores was born in New Mexico, where he lived for the first 20 years of his life until he packed up and moved to San Francisco in 1995. His paintings take inspiration from his years as a graffiti artist but also have elements of fine art in them. He has a keen eye for color and contrast, creating spellbinding stories that make you feel as though you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole.

“This mural is in an actual alley,” Hill says. “People plan their trip to Albuquerque to specifically see this mural. It’s an important piece of art history in New Mexico.”

Hill says there are plenty of murals that are gems.

“You just have to take the time and open your eyes,” she says. “MurosABQ helps the visitors navigate that. You can take the trip on your own. Or take the virtual tour. It’s an amazing tool.”

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