How Art Impacts Communities with Pow!Wow! Long Beach

POW!- It’s the impact that art has on a person. WOW!- It’s reaction that art has on a viewer.

POW!WOW! Long Beach is a week-long, city-wide event that stemmed out of POW! WOW! Worldwide, an organization that is dedicated to bringing art and culture to public spaces by painting murals and creating all forms of art in cities and countries around the world. Each year POW! WOW! brings together talented artists from around the world to tell their unique stories through art in cities across the globe.

This year, three murals were created outside of our office HQ, by artists Lolo YS, Case Maclaim and co-lead director of POW! WOW!, Kamea Hadar.

Mural done by Kamea Hadar in partnership with Hawaiian Airlines.

Kamea Hadar grew up in the worlds of his Japanese/Korean mother and Israeli father. He began studying drawing and painting from a young age. As a child he took classes at the Honolulu Art Academy and the University of Hawaii; and spent periods living, studying and creating at the Sorbonne in Paris, the University of St. Louis in Madrid and the University of Tel Aviv, Israel. He currently resides in Honolulu, HI and is the youngest board member of the Hawaii Arts Alliance (a member of the National Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network), co-lead director of POW! WOW! and designer/artistic director of Utopium, home of POW! WOW! Hawaii. Although Kamea’s work is based in traditional portraiture it has evolved off of the canvas to large-scale murals and installations that can be found in cities around the world.

"When people see [art in a public space], they think it's art in an unexpected place, but it brings to their attention that art is all around you." - Kamea Hadar, Co-Lead Director of POW!WOW! Worldwide

Mural by Lauren YS.

Lauren YS is a Bay Area artist whose work is influenced by multiple stages of focus, both geographically and in practice. With dynamic bouts in academics, literature, and writing, teaching, illustration, and animation leading up to her arrival in the urban art sphere, the influences of these phases of her own career add up to a robust style of murals and fine art. Lauren's work aims to create and populate a misfit wonderland in which imaginary heroines can address the absurdities of reality in the confines of a page or a wall.

A German urban artist native to Frankfurt, Andres Von Chrzanowski (a.k.a. CASE or CASE Maclaim) is a graffiti painter who relies on his highly developed talent to create pieces that combine brilliant photorealism with a strong note of surrealism. This artist primarily uses spray paint as this street art technique enables him to get the most out of his visuals and achieve the level of perfection his incredibly life-like graffiti possess. One of Andres Von Chrzanowski’s most common pictorial motifs are the overlaying hands that symbolize unity and power. It should also be noted that CASE is a founding member of the renown East- Germany Maclaim Crew, a group that has been the urban expression’s photorealism pioneer for over two decades now.

Public art brings a sense of pride and connectivity to a cities community. It elevates the culture of the city, it brings awareness to issues and beliefs that are important to the community, and it also adds value both economically and socially. Art brings communities together and is one factor that creates a more livable city. Through programs like POW! WOW! we are able to create a unique, dynamic and engaging environment through the movement of art.

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