Long Beach, California
July 11th - 17th, 2016
I really love Long Beach. I lived there for a little over 4 years and I want to move back! There is plenty to do around the beach and plenty of really great places to eat, but what I really love most is their support for the art community. The city is really lively as it is but knowing that you could walk around any corner and see someones amazing art work really brings more life and color to the city. Not only is there art everywhere, there are also Art Walks which is an art festival supporting and showcasing local artists. At one of the Art Walks I attended I was taking photos while I overheard two homeless men talking. One of them was really encouraging the other saying he could be out there showcasing his stuff if he wanted to too. Yea he may not have much but he still has talent and thats what matters. Hearing the guy encourage his friend into creating art really made me love the city even more. I wasn't sure what his talent was, but knowing that people can feel comfortable, knowing that their art has a chance to thrive in a community that supports it was heart warming.
Then to step it up Long Beach hosted Pow Wow Long Beach in 2015, which I didn't hear about until after the fact. Fail, because one of my favorite artist Cryptik contributed along with other artists, bringing more life to the city. Thankfully, this time around, I caught Pow Wow long Beach 2016.
Pow Wow Long Beach as explained on their site:
" POW! – It’s the impact that art has on a person.
WOW! – It’s reaction that art has on a viewer.
Together they form POW! WOW!, which is a Native American term that describes a gathering that celebrates culture, music and art.
Centered around a week-long event in Hawaii, POW! WOW! has grown into a global network of artists and organizes gallery shows, lecture series, schools for art and music, creative community spaces, concerts, and live art installations across the globe. The central event takes place during Valentine’s Day week in February in the Kaka’ako district of Honolulu, and brings over a hundred international and local artist together to create murals and other forms of art. The festival is expanding to cities and countries such as Long Beach, Taiwan, Israel, Singapore, Jamaica, Washington D.C., Guam, New Zealand, Germany and many more.
We are inspired by Native American Pow Wows. They are the Native American people’s way of meeting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships, and making new ones. This is a time method to renew Native American culture and preserve the rich heritage of American Indians."
The map to finding exactly where the murals are is a little vague, but exploring the city and finding them is part of the adventure. Pow Wow Long Beach 2016 was a really amazing experience and definitely not my last.
More details on their website powowlongbeach.com .
"Life is meant for your feet to wander, your eyes to marvel, and your soul ignite"