Cleveland Walls Recap Video
Over twenty local and national artists traveled to the MidTown neighborhood Aug. 23-28, 2021 for the CLEVELAND WALLS! International Mural Program, a POW! WOW! Worldwide Production.
Recognized as one of the most important and well-curated mural festivals in the world, POW! WOW! Worldwide has helped transform the physical spaces of 17 communities around the globe. This summer, they worked with Northeast Ohio artists, MidTown Cleveland and LAND studio to make over around 20 facades of buildings in MidTown and its surrounding neighborhood in a celebration of art, culture and community.
The week-long program included free family-friendly activities, performances and artist talks, in addition to the 20 public murals that were created during the event.
CLEVELAND WALLS! seeked to physically transform the MidTown neighborhood through vibrant art and programming while creating opportunities for local artists and elevating their work.
POW! WOW! Worldwide founder Jasper Wong is curating the artwork for the national and international artists, while MidTown has selected local artists through a rigorous community-based process. Since its inception in 2010 in Hawaii, POW! WOW! has grown into a global network of artists and organizes gallery shows, lecture series, schools for art and music, mural projects, a large creative space named Lana Lane Studios, concerts, and live art installations across the globe.
The purpose of founding POW! WOW! was to bring people together, to beautify neighborhoods and to educate. In 2019, the festival was held in the following cities: Honolulu, Hawaii; Washington D.C.; Long Beach, California; Worcester, Massachusetts; Venice, Italy; Rotterdam, Netherlands; San Jose, California; and Okinawa, Japan with plans to not only continue work in these cities, but to also add Singapore and Cleveland to the list.
About the location in MidTown
Nestled in between downtown and University Circle, MidTown Cleveland is a neighborhood that values the arts and diversity. Community-minded programming has become a part of the organization’s evolving identity, so hosting a public arts program that transforms the space physically—while also bringing together a diversity of perspectives—fits MidTown’s culture.
The program also spotlighted MidTown’s unique spaces for living and working, as well as its cultural destinations and its burgeoning food scene—from the cuisines of AsiaTown to Angie's Soul Cafe to Dave’s Market & Eatery to Gallucci’s lasagna.
“Bringing POW! WOW! to Cleveland, and specifically to MidTown, is an incredible opportunity to show off the culture and identity of our neighborhood, build community, and add world-class public art as an asset for all to enjoy.”
Jeff Epstein, MidTown Cleveland executive director
“This program will elevate the Cleveland art scene, giving local artists an international platform to share their work.”
Greg Peckham, LAND studio executive director
ABOUT THE GROUPS COMING TOGETHER TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN
Since its founding in 2010, POW! WOW! has grown from a small art exhibition with a handful of artists in Hong Kong to a major-market art festival with lineups and creative experiences that rival some of the best festivals in the world. Expanding to 17 POW! WOW! festivals in different host cities all over the world, the newest editions of POW! WOW! encompass artists, musicians, photographers, and media partners from around the globe, forming a unique and creative community built on the celebration and appreciation of art, music and culture.
LAND studio, a Cleveland-based nonprofit, is a catalyst, convener, and collaborator. For more than thirty years, LAND studio has managed a wide range of public art installations, cultural programming, and civic space development projects across the city of Cleveland. Learn more.
MidTown Cleveland is the organization charged with leveraging MidTown’s diverse assets to develop a dynamic neighborhood that unites the city’s downtown and innovation districts. MidTown Cleveland provides services to MidTown’s members, stakeholders, businesses and organizations, residents, and visitors in order to create a connected and complete community. MidTown Cleveland facilitates conversations, makes connections, and helps entities and individuals achieve their goals. Learn more.
CLEVELAND WALLS! was presented by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation with generous support from Dealer Tire. Additional support has been provided by Cleveland City Council, PNC, Shurtape, FrogTape, Hotcards, The Louise H. and David S. Ingalls Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, Monster Energy and Montana Cans.