Long Beach celebrates culture at POW! WOW! 2017

Long Beach celebrates culture at POW! WOW! 2017

THE week-long, third annual POW! WOW! Long Beach gathered local and international artists to celebrate culture, music and art.

From July 16 to 22, gallery shows, lecture series, schools for art and music, creative community spaces, concerts, and live art installations were organized in an effort to renew Native American culture and preserve the rich heritage of American Indians.

Pow Wows were Native Americans’ way of meeting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships, and making new ones.

Long Beach Vice Mayor Rex Richardson said that “the transformative power of art and murals really helps make a neighborhood.”

This year, 21 globally renowned muralists were invited to create large format art pieces using Long Beach buildings as canvasses.

Among them were Mike Giant, Kevin Lyons, Tatiana Suarez, Niels Shoe Meulman, Nosego, TRAV MSK, and Adele Renault.

On the other hand, those representing Long Beach include Bodeck Hernandez, The Draculas, Nate Frizzell, Ryan Milner and others

The public was able to watch the creative process behind the artists’ effort to make giant murals come to life.

Jasper Wong, POW! WOW! founder, emphasized the role of engagement in art as an instrument to broaden the community. “They come to our community, they feel like a part of our community,” he said.

Sharing of cultures between the artists and the community through the language of art mold the purpose of the festival.

“The third time’s the charm,” Julia Huang, CEO of Intertrend and Long Beach advisor, said during the celebration.

“Without Jasper, his little vision of saying, you know, I’m going to make this world a little bit prettier, I’m going to make this world a little bit more beautiful, I’m going to make this world a little bit more peaceful and better with art, without his vision, we would not be here,” she said.

POW! WOW! Long Beach’s week-long event started with the grand opening of a pop-up shop at local retailer Made by Millworks on Sunday, July 16.

The week’s events included a press preview on Monday, July 17 with Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia launching the festival.

Talks with designer Jeff Staple and Dutch artist Adele Renault on Tuesday, July 18 and local journalist Sarah Bennett and Miami artist Tatiana Suarez on Wednesday, July 19 were also held.

The week closed with an art battle hosted by Mike Giant on Saturday, July 22 which also featured live art, DJs and refreshments.

Over the past three years, 52 murals have been painted throughout the city by range of artists from all over the world, providing a POW! and a WOW! to the public.

It’s not just 52 murals that line the streets of Long Beach or living on the walls, but 52 ideas fueled by different individuals with the aim to share their own culture.

The festival has been expanding to cities and countries such as Taiwan, Israel, Singapore, Jamaica, Washington D.C., Guam, New Zealand, Germany and many more.

For more information, visit http://www.powwowlongbeach.com or email info@powwowhawaii.com.

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