I first learned of POW! WOW! a few years ago when I saw photos popping up on Instagram about the worldwide street art festival. Over the next year or two I learned that POW! WOW! is so much more than just a street art festival. It’s a non-profit organization of contemporary artists committed to community enrichment through the creation of art outreach programs, educational programs and engaging the community in the creation and appreciation of art. (taken from their website)
What POW! WOW! is at it’s core is why I love the organization so much. An opportunity to educate our youth on the powerful nature of art, an opportunity to engage with the community in a positive conversation about art and an opportunity to teach the APPRECIATION OF ART. I cannot say it enough, street art is a powerful force that more people need to appreciate and lean into.
Earlier this year my blogger friend Kait (hey girl!) attended POW! WOW! in her home, Hawaii. I was reminded that POW! WOW! is worldwide and decided to look up where else they’d be. I was THRILLED to see that DC was coming up next and marked my calendar so I wouldn’t forget.
Remember when I did a wall crawl in NoMa with my friend Kerry? Most of those walls were POW! WOW! walls and creations from this powerful movement. Major props to NoMa for creating this safe space for artists and art in general. Providing walls for international artists to paint on and encouraging street and public art for all.
Chris and I decided to check out the festival on Day 7 of 10. I’d never visited NoMa from the metro station so I was coming at the area from a completely different viewpoint and I immediately stopped in my tracks. Color and patterns covered walls around every corner and it felt reminiscent of Wynwood in Miami to me. A neighborhood embracing art and boasting such beauty is hard to miss and appreciate.
POW! WOW! hosted mural walks and events throughout the ten day festival, but unfortunately we were either unable to attend on the specific day or it was rained out. We had SO many days of rain during the festival, but the artists were troopers and pushed through. We decided to do our own mural walk with the assistance of the map provided online. It was an overcast, chilly night, but we had the BEST time. I was like a kid in a candy shop running from mural to mural talking about the colors, their potential meaning and my feelings about each piece.
There were so many incredible walls by local and international artists and it’s honestly very hard to pick a favorite.
POW! WOW! is something I’ve been dreaming of experiencing for years and it wasn’t until our move to DC that I was able to make it a reality. Thank you to Kelly Towles for not only creating beautiful art, but for making POW! WOW! DC happen!