ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Local artists are coming together to spread messages of hope and healing, in a part of Albuquerque struggling to recover from COVID and the work of a destructive mob.

“After all that destruction that happened, it just turned into a dead zone over there,” said Jessica Anderson.

A dead zone a group of artists is working to bring back to life. “So I think being out here, being with the community, is going to help us all heal,” said Julianna Chavez.

It’s been more than a month since riots erupted in downtown Albuquerque following protests over the death of George Floyd. Boards still cover many storefront windows along Central and it could be days or weeks more before they come down. “It’s been so apocalyptic lately,” Anderson said.

Anderson is part of the group working to fill the corridor with color, a project spearheaded by the OT Circus Gallery. “Asked me to plug in the pieces and get some artists out here to beautify it again,” said Anderson. She brought together local artists to transform the blight into something beautiful.

“Today I wanted to do two hands grasping each other like this with flowers blooming behind it,” said Chavez.

Anderson said the art will stay up until businesses finish repairs and feel comfortable taking down the boards but before that happens she hopes to invite the community down to check out the art. “We’re going to try to get some musicians on the corners and have a drive-thru art show,” Anderson said. “This is so inspiring it gives me goosebumps just coming down here and seeing all the beautiful pieces of art and how cooperative the artists have been and working together.”

That drive-thru art show is planned for next Friday. Anderson says once the boards come down the plan is to auction them off for a charitable cause.