A new mural in Downtown Albuquerque showcases the enthusiasm, spirit and spectator lifestyles of New Mexico United supporters. Hundreds of photos taken at United games mesh together to create a huge black and white collage, completely covering a wall on the corner of 2nd Street and Coal Avenue.
Noé Barnett, an Albuquerque native and a graduate of Volcano Vista, is the artist behind the piece. He told the Daily Lobo he worked at the Albuquerque Police Department for a couple of years before leaving to follow a career in the arts, which included attending art school at the University of New Mexico.
"The whole concept of the mural was to show that the community and fanbase are the foundation that the team is based on," Barnett told the Daily Lobo in a message. "To show visually how we truly are UNITED!"
The United Soccer League Championship (USLC) added New Mexico United as an expansion team in June of 2018, according to the Albuquerque Journal, and of the thirty-six franchises within the league, United led in average attendance during the 2019 season (12,836 fans).
"I think that Albuquerque in general latches onto things that are positive and done at a high level," Barnett said in a message. "Since its inception, the team has been doing things excellently in all facets. And people notice."
Barnett’s mural captures the colorful diversity of the city of Albuquerque surprisingly well, given his choice to restrict the photos to black and white. The simple contrast allows for the people in the collage to shine through.
The mural was briefly taken down due to weather damage, but Barnett and his team worked over the weekend on replastering it to the wall. Barnett said that this time they used a thinner paper that would cling to the wall better.
The photos were researched and compiled by Barnett’s team. New Mexico United paid for the mural.
Alex Hiett is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Nmal1123