Passing through Albuquerque in 2015 on Route 66, we knew it was a place we would eventually return. It’s the largest city in New Mexico and has a population rich with diverse culture. New Mexican chile is a big thing and you’re either red or green — or Christmas. Yes, it’s where Breaking Bad was filmed but there’s so much more than that.
We spent nearly a month around Albuquerque taking in the culture, meeting locals and bumping into old friends at art shows. We scouted all over the city for walls and found the perfect location in the neighborhood of Nob Hill. Funny enough, it was right on Route 66! Around the corner from the wall, we found a double decker bus housing Bristol Doughnut Co. parked in a fenced off parking lot. We asked what was going on with the property since it appeared to be under construction. That’s when they introduced us to the guys over at Little Bear Coffee who were planning to open up their new location there.
Jacob and Isaac Fox (owners of Little Bear Coffee) were developing the property and they were immediately on board with our mission of creating a postcard mural on their wall. It was through them that we met local artist, Jaque Fragua. After a blind date over breakfast at Duran Central Pharmacy, Jaque convinced us to change the original sketch from ABQ (least amount of letters) to the nickname what locals call the city, Burque. Jacob and Isaac also agreed and ended up (along with Montana Cans and Artisan Santa Fe) sponsoring our mural here. Thank you for understanding our vision and giving us the creative freedom to do what we do best!
In the meantime, we needed to recuperate from painting in Bermuda so we camped for a week at Enchanted Trails while also waiting for paint supplies to arrive. We celebrated our 4 year anniversary of living on the road at Los Poblanos and did some Albuquerque sight seeing from the Sandia Peak Tramway. After a week of catching up on work, we were ready to begin our 37th Greetings mural!
Little Bear Coffee opened the fence for us, giving us prime parking behind the Bristol Doughnut bus and we got to work.
We let Jaque do his thing in the second “U.” He wanted to pay tribute to his indigenous heritage with a native blanket design and an image of a chief. New Mexico actually has the second largest native population by percentage right behind Alaska. While we were in town, we were lucky enough to experience the Gathering of Nations which is the largest annual Pow-Wow in North America.
As usual, some of the best ideas happen during the painting process. This time, locals suggested that we add a roadrunner as well as a yucca plant (New Mexico’s state flower) in the Q. We happily obliged and added in those elements! We love the real time collaboration with the community and our hope is that they feel a sense of ownership of the artwork each time they see it and long after we are gone.
This was a fun mural where we got to try some different approaches like a white outline with an inner 3D within the letters. The color scheme was bright and colorful and quickly became a fan favorite. We hope that everyone welcomes this new addition/landmark to the area and we’re glad to have a new connection with this city.
Greetings from Burque photo prints are available for purchase at our print shop.
B — Sandia Mountains/International Balloon Fiesta
U — Sandia Mountains/International Balloon Fiesta
R — New Mexico Flag/Red & Green Chiles
Q — Yucca Plant/Petroglyphs
U — Local Artist, Jaque Fragua
E — Sandia Peak Tramway
Location: 3123 Central Ave. NE Albuquerque, NM 87106