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PRICKLES IN THE VALLEY, 2023
two murals for Whole Foods
the medallion, located in the seating area, is 14’ diameter; the long landscape in the dairy section is 7’ x 46’
2100 Carlisle Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110
commissioned by DL English Design, for Whole Foods

Albuquerque has had two Whole Foods locations for many years. Both of these shopping areas have been active since they were built in the early ‘50s, when the edges of town looked out over open plains; and both locations have had vacancies for many years. I live close to the store that closed and was reborn across the street. The arrival of this newly transformed Whole Foods drew crowds of shoppers from outside our neighborhood, who came to shop amidst the innovative interior design. This particular design included murals by a local (me, in this case), something that Whole Foods tried for the first time with our store. 

With this mural, I had the opportunity to be Lead Artist on my second commercial mural production. As with my first (the Los Lunas data center), mural-making was one part of a much larger construction project. My team wore OSHA-ordained safety equipment and got to know some of the folks working trades in Whole Foods’ cavernous beginnings. Some folks had been involved in hundreds of WF installs; some just their first. Many were in town just for this job, though some were locals. I learned to love the easy camaraderie of the job site and look forward to more work in those environments.

Thanks to Oliver and Mary of DL English Design for the opportunity. Thanks to Roxy Tocin, Heather Bergerson, Will Geusz, Niko Cifuentes, Chris Martinez and Matt Bohnhoff for their skill, focus and dedication as assistant muralists.

photos by Matt Oberer

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