Mural Magic: POW! WOW! Long Beach 2015

Art "on a grand scale" is a summer treat around the town.

Murals are a mammoth and marvelous part of cities the world over, unmissable and unsubtle and thoroughly important on the civic storytelling front.

The large-scale paintings transform alleys and byways and piazzas and corner stores into huge canvases and voilà: The museum is no longer indoors but outside for all to see, think about, learn from, and admire.

California doesn't have the trademark on mural makery, but we have plenty of cities rightly famous for them, from Lompoc to Exeter to downtown Los Angeles. Next up, in a summery splash of color and social commentary and whimsical subject matter and oomph: Long Beach.

Brushes and paint are transforming a number of corners and pockets of the city into a gallery of gargantuan proportions, thanks to Pow! Wow! Long Beach. Artists put paint-rich bristles to brick and wall starting on June 21, with the end date of June 28 on their make-a-mural horizon.

The out-sized art, however, will extend to the indoors, in a surprising twist, at least for an event based on murals. The Long Beach Museum of Art is hosting an "exhibition in collaboration with Thinkspace and Pow! Wow!" called "Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape."

The show, which will spotlight twenty artists, opens on June 26 and boast installations as well as murals.

If the Pow! Wow! name is familiar to you, you might be familiar with Pow! Wow! Hawaii, which has, in the past, brought loads of lovely alfresco art to Honolulu. The art-for-all concept also has made a showing at South by Southwest in Austin. 

Vitality and Verve celebrates the "fully immersive experience" that is so much apart of seeing, and folding into, the spirit of a mural. You can see the artists' big, bold, and at times "hyper-realistic" works through Sept. 27.

The pop-up shops and music events and gallery happenings and ongoing mural painting of Pow! Wow! Long Beach is on now through June 28. 

bottom image: Audrey Kawasaki, courtey of the Long Beach Museum of Art 

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