The Botanical Mural Project

2017 - 2023

LOCATION: Tower Plaza Building 
510 2nd St. NW // 

Sanitary Tortilla Factory
 401 2nd St. SW

The Botanical Mural Project featured two new murals in Downtown Albuquerque by renowned artist Pastel (a.k.a. Francisco Diaz) from Buenos Aires, Argentina for Cross Pollination. Pastel, who is both an architect and a muralist, has created murals all over the world, most recently in France, Norway, Belgium, Ukraine, and the Philippines. Using his distinct visual language, he fills immense wall surfaces with patterns based on local flora of the region. His botanical references address history, geography, and society, while exploring the relationship between urban art, architecture, and city life. The mural was painted over in early 2023.

Pastel describes his street art as “urban acupuncture,” saying: “Modern cities are full of ‘non places’ because of irregular and non-inclusive master-planning… Working with symbolism of local flora, the murals create a dialogue about the nature of human beings and our surroundings.” In consultation with Cross Pollination exhibition curator Valerie Roybal, Pastel chose to work with and interpret images of the following native plants: Arbutus xalapensis, Verbana neomexicana, Clematis drummondii, Cercocarpus breviflorus, Artemisia tridentata, Aloysia gratissima, Amorpha fruticosa, and Mahonia trifoliolata. 

Pastel was assisted by Mick Burson, Erin De Rosa, Nichole Johnson, Dillon Mahoney and Linda Skye

This project took place in conjunction with Cross Pollination, an exhibition at 516 ARTS August 19 - October 28, 2017 in partnership with JJ Mahoney & Associates and Sanitary Tortilla Factory