Long Beach celebrated its third annual Pow! Wow! Long Beach arts festival July 16-22, with the creation of over 20 large-scale, outdoor murals. With a mission to bring art and culture to public spaces by beautifying the city, the festival invited the public to watch artists paint the large-scale murals onto a canvas of local buildings.
Mural by HITOTZUKI
Why Does Pow! Wow! Showcase Street Art?
Beautifying the city with mural art over the last three years has helped Long Beach remedy blight and tagging. In fact, Long Beach Vice Mayor Rex Richardson stated to the Long Beach Post that for last year’s festival “a blighted wall that was tagged 103 times within a one-year period,” [...] “had only been tagged maybe once in the 12 months,” after the wall had been painted for Pow! Wow!
Mural by Adele Renault
What Artists Participated in Pow! Wow!?
With over twenty artists taking to the streets over the course of the week, residents and festival goers had the chance to personally engage with the art — and the artists — as the murals took shape. Works ranged from the whimsical, to the surreal, to realistic style portraits.
Mural by The Dulk
Artists came from around the world to take part in the festival, cultivating a sense of community and pride that extended beyond the city’s borders — including Netherlands-based Adele Renualt and Spain-based The Dulk (aka Antonio Segura Donat). First-time Pow! Wow! participant The Dulk has showcased his work worldwide — from Miami’s Art Basel to galleries in Vancouver and Berlin. With Pow! Wow! the artist noted he was eager to take his surrealist comic animal-themed works to a large format and incorporate the inspiration of his wall’s ocean-side surroundings.
A map to find The Dulk and Renault’s work as well as other Pow! Wow! artists can be found at the Pow! Wow! Long Beach website: http://www.powwowlongbeach.com/2017-map/
Mural by Mina Hamada
All photos by STRUKTR Studios