An already colorful Honolulu neighborhood is set to get fresh coats of paints as Pow! Wow! Hawaii — which has at its core murals and their creators but includes also block parties, talks, breakdancing and a concert by Eminem — kicks off 15 days of events beginning Friday.
Pow! Wow! Hawaii, now in its ninth year, has left more than 330 murals on walls throughout Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood, a district sandwiched between downtown and Waikiki.
Hawaii isn’t its only festival; it has street art festivals in 17 cities worldwide, including Long Beach. They allow artists to legitimize, on a grand scale, what otherwise might just be considered graffiti.
“It is in no way a competition,” organizer Kamea Hadar said in email. “[We are] just beautifying the community and sharing culture.”
Pow! Wow! “passports” include a map identifying the painting locations that can be found throughout Kakaako.
Segway of Hawaii leads twice-daily, 90-minute tours that introduce participants to the artwork as well as the neighborhood’s cafes, coffee shops and boutiques.
The Kakaako Waterfront Park/Pow Wow Mural Tour costs $139 and departs at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. You must be at least 10 years old and must not weigh more than 275 pounds.
Festival goers also will have a chance to interact with the artists when they’re not working. Logan Hicks will discuss his paintings during a public forum Feb. 12, and Fairey will speak Feb. 14. Both talks begin at 7 p.m. at Wade Warehouse, 449 Cooke St.
If you miss the festival, you still can see the artists’ efforts throughout the year. Look online for a list of most of the more than 330 murals painted in previous years. Their locations also are included.