Pow!Wow! Hawaii…a lightning bolt of concentrated fantastic.

This past February my wife (@lannysphotos) and I (@1ill510) had the privilege of being asked to document the premier mural festival in the world. We said, yes, in a matter of seconds.

The art speaks for itself. Its nothing but a celebration of colors, creativity, social awareness, and the environment coming together on walls, by artists as rad as their work. All around the Kaka’ako area in Honolulu Hawaii you will find something kind of wonderful.

What made PowWow Hawaii so amazing was all of the other things that took place during the week, that was not painting.

The jokes, the conversation, the side work that has to happen before the paint, herding of cats, food breaks, dancing, drinking….on and on.

The instant community and family that created was a treat. I had never felt more at home, nor have I ever encountered a situation where I could be myself right from the get and make friends instantly. Everyone had a streak of goofball in them. You had somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 artists from Japan, Detroit, Australia, South Korea, Ohio, Berlin and more, another 10 directors from other PowWow’s around the world, a handful volunteers, and reps from the sponsors all coming together almost instantly. Yes, there was a common goal of, “Let’s rock these walls”, but there was more of a common bond and understanding of what it meant to be there and what it meant to be…well, human.

Y’all got to bear with me as I am no wordsmith and this week left me speechless, to try to convey the feel goods.

Anyone who took the time to listen, I mean really listen and observe with all the senses saw the happy hustle. And I’m in no way trying to sugar coat the hard work, the persistence, the failure and the successes of the people involved. We all have had them, we all are still going to have them, but the love and passion involved in what everyone was doing was palpable. This was/is a group that you want to surround yourself with, because you are the average of those you surround yourself with, and the average here is Boss Sauce.

The energy of the event was the fuel for ten, seventeen-hour days, and the extra jolt came from the walls coming together. It was good vibes errday. Even when Mother Nature put 4 inches of rain per hour on us for 4 hours, no one was bummed or deterred. Shit, some of the artists were savages and kept on painting; others just got down at home base in Lana Lane Studios and had a phat blackbook session and beers.

I can’t say enough of what Jasper, Kamea, and Jeff have cultivated over the years of PowWow and the community they have created. Being part of PowWow has been one of the greatest experiences up till now and has shown me what is possible and what I want to work for.

Here is a small slice of photos from the week, and I’ll these try to convey the rest.

Ian Lundie

Author Ian Lundie

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