Tuesday, March 21, 4-6pm
Botanical Mural Project Celebration
4-5pm: Sanitary Tortilla Factory, 401 2nd St. SW
with City Councilor Isaac Benton
5-6pm: Tower Plaza Building, 510 2nd St. NW
with City Councilor Pat Davis
516 ARTS invited the community to join us for a special dedication celebrating the completion of the Botanical Mural Project, two new murals in downtown Albuquerque by renowned artist Francisco Díaz (a.k.a. Pastel) from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The dedication took place 4-6pm on Tuesday, March 21 (4-5pm at the Sanitary Tortilla Factory, 5-6pm and the Tower Plaza Building). Guests were able to meet the artist, mural apprentices, project organizers, building owners and supporters, and learn about the process.
Díaz, who is both an architect and a muralist, has created murals all over the world, most recently in Italy, Portugal, Poland, Australia, Mexico and Miami. Using his distinct visual language and decorative style, he fills immense wall surfaces with patterns based on the local ora of the region. His botanical references address history, geography, society and politics, while exploring the relationships between urban art, architecture and city life. Díaz describes his street art as “urban acupuncture,” saying, “Modern cities are full of ‘non-places’ because of irregular and not inclusive master-planning.... Working with symbolism of local flora, the pieces begin a dialogue about the nature of human beings and our surroundings."
The Botanical Mural Project is part of Cross Pollination, an exhibition at 516 ARTS about bees and other pollinators and their role in the world’s food supply. In consultation with Cross Pollination exhibition curator Valerie Roybal, Díaz chose to work with images of the following local, native plants that pollinators love: Arbutus, Senna, Phyla, Clematis, Cercocarpus, Artemisia, Aloysia, Amorpha and Mahonia.
The Botanical Mural Project consists of two mural sites:
• Tower Building: 510 2nd St. NW The south and west facing walls at the corner of 2nd St. and MLK Blvd. across from the Convention Center will dramatically showcase the work of this international artist while enhancing an otherwise drab or ‘unnoticed’ city scape. (mural size: 6,650 square feet)
• Sanitary Tortilla Factory: 401 2nd St. SW The north facing wall of the building on Lead Ave. at the corner of 2nd St. marks the public gallery for the Sanitary Tortilla Factory, which also houses artists’ studios and a sculpture residency program. This building is an anchor for the revitalization of the block of 2nd St. between Lead and Coal that is transforming into a destination for creative businesses and artists. (mural size: 640 square feet)
Very special thanks to project supporters J.J. Mahoney & Associates, the Sanitary Tortilla Factory, The City of Albuquerque Public Art Program, Sherwinn-Williams, and Benjamin Moore Paints / Coronado Paint and Decorating.
Image: Francisco Díaz, completed Botanical Mural Project, on the Sanitary Tortilla Factory in Downtown Albuquerque, part of the exhibition Cross Pollination at 516 ARTS (August 19 – October 28, 2017)