Wells Park Rail Corridor series

On view

Murals by Frank Buffalo Hyde & Jamison "Chas" Banks

presented by Wells Park Neighborhood Association & 516 ARTS in partnership with the City of Albuquerque Public Art and Urban Enhancement Program

Launched Summer 2013/Fall 2012

The Wells Park Rail Runner Mural Project is a neighborhood initiative intended to beautify and improve the Rail Runner corridor between Mountain Road and Interstate 40, to support local artists and encourage youth participation in the arts. At present, the rail corridor is the very visible “entrance” and “exit” to downtown Albuquerque by the Rail Runner’s over 117,000 riders per month and the large national audience of Amtrak. The murals are intended to enhance both the image of the area and the experience of the rail passengers. Several murals are now complete and visible from the Rail Runner commuter train.

2013 Murals Feature Native American Artists

516 ARTS and Wells Park Neighborhood Association teamed up again in the summer of 2013 to present two murals in conjunction with the concurrent exhibitions at 516 ARTS, Air, Land, Seed and Octopus Dreams which focused on contemporary Native American artists. These exhibitions were part of the series of programs titled Place/Displaced, which addressed cultural identity through the significance of place. The lead mural artists completed the murals, with the help of youth apprentices from Working Classroom, on August 8, 2013.

Frank Buffalo Hyde, who traces his heritage to the Nez Perce and Onondaga, says his mural, titled Patternation, is "an investigation of pattern as tradition, pattern as generations and the breaking of patterns where we find hope.  Symbols are the vocabulary we communicate with non verbally.  I believe we are all hard wired to understand them."

Jamison "Chas" Banks is an enrolled member of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe and the Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma.  His mural, titled Inland Empire: A Suspended Animation, references the Louisiana Purchase, the largest land acquisition in the history of the United States, and the dreams of imperial power symbolized by Napoleon.  Banks says "Glory, grandeus, occupaion, defeat and exile, these are the commonalities of New World domination."


All photos 2013, courtesy of David Cudney

Wells Park Mural Gallery 2

  • Frank_Buffalo_Hyde,_Patternation
  • Frank_Buffalo_Hyde,_Patternation_in_progress_detail
  • Jamison_(Chas)_Banks,_Inland_Empire:_A_Suspended_Animation
  • Jamison_Chas)_Banks,_Inland_Empire:_A_Suspended_Animation_in_progress_detail


2012 Murals Explore Art, Science & Technology for ISEA2012

The Wells Park Mural Project was launched in 2012 in conjunction with ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness, so the subject matter of the 2012 murals reflects growing contemporary themes revolving around the intersection of art, science and technology.  Four separate murals were created by four lead artists or artist teams, assisted by 12 apprentices from youth organizations including ¡Explora!, the Harwood Art Center and 516 ARTS. 


All photos 2012, courtesy of David Cudney

Wells Park Mural Gallery

  • Nanibah Chacon, Hozho Spider Woman
  • Nanibah Chacon, Hozho Spider Woman (in progress detail)
  • David Leigh, Mirrored Robots
  • Larry Bob Phillips, Trance Dance
  • Larry Bob Phillips, Dualities (two separate murals, complete)
  • John McClendon, Bees
  • Nettrice Gaskins & Laurie Marion, Augmented Reality for Open Spaces (AROS)
  • Nettrice Gaskins & Laurie Marion, Augmented Reality for Open Spaces (AROS), in progress detail

Nanibah Chacon's mural, She Taught Us To Weave, reexamines toold of sustenance and communication in a complex age of technology.  A low-powered radio transmitter emits the Navajo phrase "Hozo naahaslii" on station 96.9.  "Hozho" encompasses the intrinsic value of living beauty.  

David Leigh's mural. Mirrored Robots, touches on ideas of camouflage, self-recognition an adaptive mimicry as they relate to machines, conveying the understanding that technology infiltrates life to such a degree that it becomes necessary for survival and identity. 

Larry Bob Phillips' murals are sister pieces titled Trance Dance and Dualities.  While being primarily hand-made, the murals are conceived in the face of sweeping and inspiring changes wrought by the technological revolution.  From sonar to vector graphics, these images use techniques and formalisms that are mathematical in essence.

John McClendon's bee images were created to bring attention to the plight of the honey bee.  The growing demand for food, the use of pesticides and other environmental issues decreasing populations of honey bees creates concern for the future of humanity without insects to pollinate our food supply.

Nettrice Gaskins & Laurie Marion worked with apprentices from ¡Explora! as part of the ISEA2012 Education Program, sponsored by Intel, to create Augmented Reality for Open Spaces (AROS).  The mural examines cosmic themes of life and death, playing on the styles of both Mimbres imagery and contemporary street art.  Augmented Reality components are viewable from devices using the Argon AR Web Browser, available online at http://argon.gatech.edu.


The Wells Park Rail Runner Mural Project is spearheaded and directed by David Cudney, a Board member of the Wells Park Neighborhood Association and director of The 5G Gallery at the Factory on 5th arts complex. He joined together with 516 ARTS to develop the project on behalf of the Wells Park Neighborhood Association.

The 2012-2013 Wells Park Rail Runner Mural Project was made possible in part by The City of Albuquerque Public Art & Urban Enhancement Program, The FUNd at the Albuquerque Community Foundation, Wells Park Neighborhood Association, Intel Corporation and local business supporters.

Images: (top) Frank Buffalo Hyde, Patternation; Jamison "Chas" Banks, Inland Empire: A Suspended Animation, photo courtesy of artist