Valentines day week once again marked the time for another edition of the fantastic POW! WOW! Hawaii street art festival in Honolulu. Organized for the 4th consecutive time, this years event was probably the biggest and strongest edition of the world wide famous festival, featuring such artists as Etam Cru, Maya Hayuk, ROA, Ernest Zacharevic, David Flores, Kevin Lyons, Olek, Aaron Horkey, Mark Dean Veca, Kelly Towles, Tristan Eaton, D*Face, Ekundayo, Prime, Woes Martin and many more. Along with the main part of the festival which includes the creation of numerous artworks by some of the world's biggest names in urban art, an impressive lineup of collateral shows, workshops, talks, lectures and parties were organized during the festival.
Traditionally, the start of the festival is marked with Holoholo tours organized for participants, during which locals introduce the rich Hawaiian tradition, history and rituals. Visiting all the important landmarks of Oahu island, the tour is a bonding experience for organizers, press and artists and creates a great base for what POW! WOW! is most known for, a feeling of unity and collaborative spirit.
The night before the main event, a big exhibition curated by Thinkspace Gallery was opened at The Honolulu Museum of Art. This is the 2nd time the Culver City based gallery has collaborated with the festival, this year they showed works from most of the participants, plus many others from their rich roster of artists. Each exhibitor contributed a 12in x 12in piece to the Exploring The New Contemporary Movement group exhibition, which provided a great overview of the current state of the urban art scene, showing works by some 50 established and emerging artists from around the world.
Starting with a traditional Kahu blessing by a Hawaiian priest, the main event began early morning on Monday, February 9th. Blending the rich, friendly tradition of the islanders with the positive spirit of the festival, this little ritual always adds a special feel to the entire happening. With the open support of the local community and appreciation for the artworks, the artists started working on their creations all through the Kaka'ako area and this year for the first time, other neighborhoods of Honolulu.
During the next 6 days, which are focused on the creation of murals and installations by the participating artists, a strong list of other happenings was organized and held throughout the city. An exhibition of limited edition prints was held at the Fresh Cafe in Kaka'ako in collaboration with 1 x Run, as an opportunity for locals to purchase the affordable works by participating artists. This years edition included some exclusive, in-store only releases, for which collectors started lining up to buy in the early afternoon. Another popular event was the 1-2-1 talk with Kevin Lyons and James Jean, hosted by Jeff Staple. One of the main sponsors of the event, RVCA, had their own show held at Modern Honolulu, exhibiting an exclusive collection of surfboards that surfing superstar Kelly Slater and artist Kevin Ancell had collaborated on.
The official end of the festival was once again marked with a big block party organized in Kaka'ako area, for which the commercial and retail district of the city turned into a bustling festival epicenter. With live music concerts by the participants of POW! WOW! School of Music, Secret Walls event, numerous street vendors and performances by the POW! WOW! Music School Artists, this event wrapped up the entire festival in a great positive spirit, giving the visitors a chance to stroll around the area and enjoy the new artworks, along with some music. Check out our selection of 10 murals from POW! WOW! Hawaii 2015.
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All images courtesy of Arrestedmotion Sal Instagram