News Release

Sept. 17, 2014
Colorful new mural brightens downtown Albuquerque

Albuquerque: A colorful new mural brightens either side of 4th Street at Silver Avenue near the PNM Headquarters building. PNM and Working Classroom celebrated their collaborative partnership to bring a little more beauty to downtown Albuquerque today by honoring the student artists who painted the new vibrant mural. PNM took a preventative approach to counter the etching of glass and unsightly graffiti and used it as an opportunity to beautify and revive the downtown area while providing a chance for young people to showcase their talents.

"It's fun to see people stop and smile while admiring the mural and many have taken photos and are using them as backgrounds for their Facebook pages," said Diane Harrison Ogawa, PNM Resources Foundation Executive Director. "This has been a rewarding project with Working Classroom that has brought so much joy."

PNM provided a $5,000 grant to Working Classroom for the project, which covered art supplies and a stipend for the students to complete the mural. Working Classroom is an award-winning arts and education program located in downtown Albuquerque. They focus on promoting the creative, academic, and leadership potential of talented young artists from historically ignored communities.

"We are thankful for the opportunity for our students to have a paid internship and to have a public space for their art," said Working Classroom Executive Director, Gabrielle Marie Uballez. "Our students learned important job skills and were able to apply hands on art experience in a real world professional environment."

The mural, which is pallet of pinks, greens and blues is entitled "Growing Together | Creciendo Juntos," and was designed by UNM senior, Ian Kerstetter. He was assisted by Elijah Chavez an eighth grader at Harrison Middle School, Roberto Morales a freshman at Rio Grande High School and Rowan Willow a junior at Albuquerque High.

"I designed the first mural, grow with the theme of community in mind and it's about growth" said Ian Kerstetter, UNM senior and mural designer. "For the second one, I asked the students to think about what was important in a community to them and what they thought made a successful community; we landed on togetherness as the theme for the other mural."

With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving more than 500,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state. PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company also headquartered in Albuquerque. For more information, visit