ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - The City of Albuquerque is about to get a lot more colorful.
Dozens of artists from across the state have come together for New Mexico's largest public art festival and it kicked off Saturday just ahead of Balloon Fiesta.
Over the next 22 days, artists of all different styles will be creating 50 new murals around the city.
"The concept is is to unify, beauty and showcase artist from all over the world and New Mexico," says artist Christian Michael Gallegos.
Gallegos and Bearface are just two of 50 artists taking part in Mural Fest 2018.
"Making the community a little bit more beautiful prettier than how it normally looks around here," says Bearface.
There will be 25 Mural Fest events and 50 new murals created across 12 Albuquerque neighborhoods.
Event organizers say the festival is about more than pretty paintings.
"Murals are a catalyst in identifying and moving forward in many of the areas that we are struggling in as a culture," says Co-producers J.P. Eaglin.
Organizers say many of the murals will be painted alongside local businesses.
"Getting a nice big colorful mural on the side of our walk will draw people in let them know what we're about," says Andes Gonzales of Empire Board Game Library Employee.
They hope the new pops of color will draw people to the local businesses. With the purchase of a festival pass, you can receive special discounts at local shops and restaurants.
"So many of the businesses that we visited over the last two years in developing this event were hurt so bad by the ART project," Eaglin says.
Some may just see walls, but these artists see empty canvases across the city and they are excited to add their own unique touch to each.
"It will help tourism, help the economy here in the central corridor," Gallegos says.
The festival kicked off Saturday and ends October 13. Those mural festival passes are available for $50 dollars for anyone to buy.
For information on Mural Fest, click here.
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