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City Honors MLK Jr. with New Public Art Mural Downtown

'Mountain Top’ by Artist Noé Barnett dedicated by City and community leaders.

October 14, 2021 - Today, Mayor Tim Keller along with leaders from the City’s Department of Arts & Culture and Arts Board, dedicated the newest mural in the Public Art Program’s collection: Mountain Top by spray paint artist Noé Barnett. The mural, located at Tijeras Ave. and 1st St. NW in downtown Albuquerque, honors the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and features other “pillars” from the Civil Rights leader’s life.

“This mural is meaningful to us here in Albuquerque because it honors Dr. King for the things he accomplished in his too short of time on this earth, but also for the vision and challenge he put before us… to be better to each other. To be relentless in our pursuit of justice. When we see this mural, let us feel that call to action,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

The mural, commissioned by the Albuquerque Arts Board and Keep Albuquerque Beautiful, spans approximately a quarter block on various surfaces. The main wall features three dynamic images of Dr. King. Around the corner from the main wall is an image Dr. King in front of the Washington Monument where he delivered his famous speech “I Have a Dream” and an image from his speech “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top,” delivered in Memphis, Tenn. Both a transcription and audio of the latter speech can be accessed via a QR code.

Mountain Top also features other Black pillars from the Civil Rights leader’s life including Booker T. Washington, Dr. King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, and Frederick Douglass.

“So many thoughts and emotions coming from this project. But I think the most prominent feeling is that of humility,” explains Noé Barnett. “This was such a unique opportunity for me in a lot of ways and to be able to play a part in rejuvenating that space, work with some students and add to the conversation in ABQ has been a blessing. And I just hope that I did it justice and the community receives and appreciates it.”

Barnett worked with young apprentices from Working Classroom. Working Classroom is a local non-profit that cultivates the artistic, civic, and academic minds of youth through in-depth arts projects with contemporary artists to amplify historically ignored voices, resist systemic injustices, and imagine a more equitable society.