“Abya Yala: Indigenous Freeways”

Putting the Continent Back Together

Albuquerque’s newest mural envisions a brighter world

Karie Luidens or https://linktr.ee/southwest_ness

Walls often serve to divide people.

For the visionaries of NSRGNTS, however, walls can also bring people together.

The art collective recently unveiled their latest mural at HomegrowNM Trading Post, on the corner of Central Avenue and Morningside Drive SE. “Abya Yala: Indigenous Freeways” depicts a single continuous landscape from south to north, united by an overarching rainbow.

“A lot of people, nowadays, when they think of borders, they think that borders are protecting us,” says Votan Ik, who founded NSRGNTS just over 20 years ago.

As he sees it, however, border enforcement fundamentally harms the land, fosters exploitation, and sows conflict.

“That is not something that we as Indigenous people of this continent have executed, right?” he says.

“Borders are still a very new concept,” adds Leah Lewis, Ik’s partner and fellow NSRGNTS activist.

Seeking to share their vision of an undivided continent, Ik and Lewis teamed up with local artist Saba to design the “Abya Mala” mural, supported by a grant from the Native Health Initiative.

Read more of this story at https://medium.com/southwestness/putting-the-continent-back-together-63ffd8ec3994 by Karie Luidens of #TheSouthwestness

Artists Votan Ik, Leah Lewis, and Saba unveiled the mural “Abya Yala: Indigenous Freeways” on May 22. Photo courtesy of NSRGNTS
The mural’s southern end features a Maya temple, smiling saguaro, and boy wearing a jaguar headdress with Kawaii-style eyes. Photos by Karie Luidens
Pueblo girl
The mural’s north end features a Pueblo girl alongside an adobe Sabahut complex. Photos by Karie Luidens
The finished mural beams with smiles behind the artists who designed it: Saba with his wife Shawna and two children (left), and Votan Ik and Leah Lewis with their son (right). Photo courtesy of NSRGNTS


Sending prayers with my family SkiZero, Canyon, Shawna and Patience! Painting in Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and The Sacred Stone Camp in North Dakota protecting sacred rivers and sites from a oil pipeline that threatens their future. Also bringing water awareness to our Mesilla Valley Community!

5th Annual Illegal? Art Show & Pictograff Battle



For the past 5 years, Illegal? has left an imprint on the city of Las Cruces, literally. We will continue to push the cap on the can and produce beautiful vibrant murals that many will appreciate and techniques that others will never understand…

This year will kick off with an Indigenous perspective about ARROWSOUL at the 3rd annual IWOK conference on
THURSDAY May 5th, 2016 held at New Mexico State University.Guest Speakers, Live art and Hip Hop performances
More info TBA…

FRIDAY May 6th @ 5PM will be the gallery opening for PICTOGRAFF: The Art of Warprayer at The Branigan Cultural Center and Museum in downtown Las Cruces. Works by ILASH, RELEASE, WOAR 2 and many more New Mexico based artists.

SATURDAY May 7th @ 9AM – 2PM will continue with PICTOGRAFF’s Live Art showcase outside the Museum of Art during the Farmers and Crafts Market with Mural installation by participating artists.
*Selected walls throughout Las Cruces will be painted by local and visiting artists all day.

ILLEGAL? ART SHOW & BATTLE @ Barricade Culture Shop
Gallery Opening / Reception
DJ’s & Live Performances TBA
*for battles and walls contact Saba Wear