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Creative Voices

Pow! Wow! Hawaii

By Summer Wilson

For one week each February, Honolulu’s industrial downtown neighborhood Kaka’ako is taken over by artists, illustrators, and sculptors who create a free outdoor gallery open to the public. Now in its fifth year, Pow! Wow! Hawaii continues to grow and evolve; in 2015, the festival welcomed more than 100 artists—from Hawaii and around the world—who created more than 60 murals. 

Artist and event founder Jasper Wong curates Pow! Wow!, and selected participants are flown to Hawaii to be a part of the lineup. Many of the artists also work digitally and on canvas, but during this week their canvases are blank walls.

Watch our video to take a trip to Pow! Wow! Hawaii and see some of the amazing public art created there.

The organizers of Pow! Wow! promote collaboration and bring the process of creating art out into the open. Artists have a rare opportunity to meet and work together, exchanging stories and skills. Attendees can stroll around the neighborhood and watch artists work, and the event culminates in a block party with food trucks, music performances, and a live art battle.

Pow! Wow! is expanding to new cities and countries—including Taiwan, Long Beach, New Zealand, and Washington D.C.—with the goal of creating a global network of artists, bringing art to the public, and making once blank walls as beautiful as the walls shown here, all created at this year’s Pow! Wow! Hawaii. 

Mural from Pow Wow Hawaii, created by LA artist Hueman.

Mural by Hueman (Los Angeles)

Mural for Pow Wow Hawaii, by Mung Monster and Kamehameha Schools Hawaii

Mural by Mung Monster and Kamehameha Schools (Hawaii)

Mural from Pow Wow Hawaii, by James Jean

Mural by James Jean (Los Angeles, Taiwan, New York)

Mural from Pow Wow Hawaii, by Vincent Di Nguyen

Mural by Vincent Di Nguyen (New York)

A mural from Pow Wow Hawaii, by Case and Smithe

Mural by Case (Germany) and Smithe (Mexico)

Mural from Pow Wow Hawaii, by Maya Hayuk

Mural by Maya Hayuk (New York)

Mural from Pow Wow Hawaii, by Alexis Diaz

Mural by Alexis Diaz (Puerto Rico)

Mural from Pow Wow Hawaii, by Wooden Wave

Mural by Wooden Wave (Hawaii)

Mural from Pow Wow Hawaii, by Chad Hasegawa

Mural by Chad Hasegawa (San Francisco)

Mural from Pow Wow Hawaii, by Kevin Lyons

Mural by Kevin Lyons (New York)

Mural from Pow Wow Hawaii, by Natalia Rak

Mural by Natalia Rak (Poland)

The Pow Wow Hawaii Secret Walls Live Art Battle mural by Greg Mike, Greg Mishka, Tatiana Suarez, Sophia Chang, OG Slick, Puff, Mung4Chun, Hueman, Kevin Lyons, Boy Kong, BMD, Cara Toes, Lauren YS, and Woes

The Secret Walls Live Art Battle mural (by Greg Mike, Greg Mishka, Tatiana Suarez, Sophia Chang, OG Slick, Puff, Mung4Chun, Hueman, Kevin Lyons, Boy Kong, BMD, Cara Toes, Lauren YS, and Woes)

Mural from Pow Wow Hawaii, by Ernest Zacharevic

Mural by Ernest Zacharevic (Lithuania)

Mural from Pow Wow Hawaii, by Cryptik

Mural by Cryptik (Los Angeles)