Kick-Off Event: Saturday, May 4 from 12pm to 6pm
In early May, NoMa will once again be overrun with talented artists, scissor lifts, and ladders, and bathed in hundreds of gallons of paint with the return of POW! WOW! DC. The 10-day international mural festival brings artists from the D.C. region and around the globe to adorn building walls, enliven streetscapes, and beautify the community. Attendees can expect to see a variety of styles and will be able to witness the creative process in action, as the 16 participating artists will begin creating their pieces on May 2. The festival, which launched in 2016, is a partnership between the NoMa BID and POW! WOW! DC, the local chapter of the worldwide POW! WOW! collective, based in Hawaii.
“We cannot say enough about POW! WOW! DC and what this festival has meant to the neighborhood,” says Robin-Eve Jasper, president of the NoMa BID. “The incredible, dynamic artworks that brighten up NoMa are beloved by residents, workers, and visitors. We are proud to be the site of so much creative expression by local, national, and international talent.”
The festival’s kick-off event will take place on Saturday, May 4, with a noon–6:00 p.m. party at Wunder Garten (1101 First St. NE). A tour of all 2019 POW! WOW! DC mural sites will begin at 3:00 p.m. outside the beer garden. Other POW! WOW! DC events that will take place during the festival:
- May 6, 6:00 p.m.: mural walking tour (starting point TBD)
- May 8, 9:00 p.m. – Midnight: Secret Walls event at The Line Hotel
- May 11, 5:00 p.m.: mural walking tour (starting point TBD)
- May 12, 5:00 p.m.: mural walking tour (starting point TBD)
The 2019 POW! WOW! DC roster features eight artists from the DC region and eight from across the U.S., plus Canada, the United Kingdom, and France. Because Instagram is the social media platform of choice for mural artists, the list below includes each artist’s account.
- Jasjyot Singh Hans / Baltimore / @jasjyotjasjyot
- Marni Manning / DC / @marnimanning
- Mixed Scene / DC / @mixedscenedc
- Nick Zimbro / DC / @mr.zimbro
- Red Swan / Baltimore / @redswanwalls
- Rodrigo Pradel / Virginia / @rodrigopradel
- Sarah Jamison / DC / @sarahjanejamison
- Tracie Ching / DC / @tracieching
- Eamon Gillen / Worcester, MA / @eamontron
- Hanna Soderholm / Bristol, UK / @peachy.hanna
- Niki Zarrabi / Atlanta / @nikizarrabi
- Noségo / Philadelphia / @nosego
- Priscilla Yu / Vancouver / @priscillayuart
- Rever / Paris / @rever_odv
- Stom500 / Strasbourg, France / @stom500
- Trav / Los Angeles / @travmsk
This is the fourth year that POW! WOW! DC has come to NoMa. Over the previous three festivals, more than 50 murals have been added to the NoMa landscape, a primary reason the neighborhood has informally come to be known as the “Mural Capital of D.C.” Each year, NoMa property owners agree to allow their walls to be commandeered for the festival, giving over creative control to the artists. The ephemeral and collaborative nature of the process, and the freedom of the artists to work beyond the dictates and constraints of commissioned work, add a special dimension to POW! WOW! DC. In some instances, walls have been used more than once, and participating artists understand that the murals they create might stay up for years or only a few months, as sites can include buildings that will be demolished. The 900 feet of WMATA wall next to the Metropolitan Branch Trail north of New York Avenue NE is covered with fresh murals each year, a result of POW! WOW! DC’s partnership with the transportation agency as part of WMATA’s Art in Transit program.
More information about this year’s festival, artists, and events may be found at powwowdc.com and nomabid.org/pow-wow-dc. Links to RSVP for events may also be found there, and at facebook.com/NoMaBID.