Albuquerque has one of the most robust public art programs in the country. The “Art in Municipal Places Ordinance” sets aside money for the City to buy or commission works of art. Those works can be seen throughout Albuquerque, and you may pass by many without even noticing them! Here is just a taste of the unique artworks you can find around Downtown Albuquerque.

Convention Center Murals

Artists working on convention center tile mural

The creation of the mosaic murals at the Albuquerque Convention Center was a community-based project, with more than 150 people helping out. Artist apprentices got the chance to collaborate with lead artists to work on a section of the mosaic, from design to installation. Each mosaic incorporates New Mexico culture and tradition. 

Center of the City Centennial Project

Center of the City Centennial Project showing a decorative manhole cover

Photo Credit: Public Art Archive

Ever wonder where the center of Albuquerque is? After being inspired by an Albuquerque Journal column attempting to find the geographic center of Albuquerque, the City commissioned an artist to create a project commemorating the center of Albuquerque when New Mexico became a state in 1912, and at the time of its 100th birthday in 2012. Yamilette Duarte designed decorative manhole covers with a compass rose, a Zia symbol, and the letter A, standing for Albuquerque. The 1912 center can be spotted on 4th Street between Central and Gold. The 2012 center is south of the I-40 Frontage Road between 3rd and 4th Streets.

KiMo Sign


There are few Downtown landmarks as iconic as the sign for the KiMo Theatre. Made from metal and neon, it is a recreation of the original neon sign that looked over Central for about 30 years from 1929 to sometime in the mid-1950s. The KiMo was originally built in 1927, and has gone through a number of renovations to turn what was once a movie theater into a performing arts space. The new sign was installed in 2011.

Yei Be Chei Central

Image showing artistic fence called Yei Be Chei Central

Photo Credit: Public Art Archive

Along Central between 4th and 5th Streets, spot the welded steel fence of Yei Be Chei Central. Created in 2004, it features Native American motifs along its design. The colorful designs along the Freed Building catch the eye of passersby on Central. 

El Senador Memorial Honoring Senator Dennis Chavez

two statues depicting dennis chavez and his wife as part of the El Senador Memorial Honoring Senator Dennis Chavez

Photo Credit: Public Art Archive

Two large bronze statues depicting Senator Dennis Chavez and his wife sit cross-legged on a wall in Civic Plaza. Installed in 1999, the sculptures honor Chavez, who was a New Mexico senator for 27 years from 1935 to 1962. He was also the first Hispanic senator born in the United States, and the first senator to be born in New Mexico.

The Poets’ Plaza

four mosaic benches in a circle called the poets' plaza

Photo Credit: Public Art Archive

Located at the Harwood Art Center, The Poets’ Plaza features four mosaic benches made with ceramic tiles. Each bench represents one of the four elements, and features lines from four famous poets – Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, Mary Oliver, Joy Harjo and Jimmy Santiago Baca. Students at a nearby school helped pick which verses to include and stamped them into clay to make the tiles. 

Midcentury Architecture

Picture of the Albuquerque Main Public Library

Midcentury architecture can be spotted across Albuquerque, and Downtown is no exception! Check out the Main Public Library at Copper and 5th Street to see one such example. The concrete building opened in 1975. It was praised for its design, particularly its wheelchair accessibility. George Pearl, the architect for the library, designed it after visiting important libraries in the country. If you’re looking to explore more midcentury architecture, check out a walking tour of what’s considered the first midcentury modern historic district in the state.