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VIDEO: Pow Wow artists share insight
BY JERMEL-LYNN QUILLOPO / Special to the Star-Advertiser
If you walk around Kaka’ako this week, you’ll see dozens of artists transforming a neighborhood of industrial walls into masterpieces of art. Its all part of the annual Pow Wow Hawaii art festival.
More than 60 artists have gathered to unleash their creativity with paint. Klor from 123Klan said when she comes to Hawaii for the event, the positive energy she vibes off of other artists helps create an environment that not only feels like common familiarity, but also ignites collaborations of all sorts.
Every year, Pow Wow Hawaii conjures up different programs to increase community involvement. This year, organizers integrated music even more, partnering with musical artists and opening a School of Music at Lana Lane Studios. The music program selected teens between the ages of 13 and 18 years old through a course of auditions; this week, they’re working closely with professionals in order to help better their craft.
The musical component this year has a lot of overlap, said Christa Wittmer, Pow Wow Hawaii marketing director, but it also offers more opportunity for participants to flourish. Lana Lane Studios allow the artists to create and record music all under one roof, all within walking distance of where the rest of the art is being produced.
Another great program Pow Wow Hawaii offers this year is a series of youth art workshops sponsored by Flexflit, 808 Urban and Pow Wow Hawaii. Students are able to attend Saturday art classes over a nine-month period and learn about art influences that range from the 1950’s to modern day art.
The biggest component of Pow Wow Hawaii is the art on the walls and many artists take the opportunity to use it as a blank canvas in order to send a message to the public.
“The art that I do is for the people,” said Klor. “I don’t want to do art that is just for the elite. … Graffiti writing for me is like a gift that I want to give the people.”
I was able to talk to some of the people participating in order to fully understand what art means to them, what makes this event unique and how they have been influenced by the event.
I must say, after following these artists, learning their stories and monitoring their progress during the early stages of painting, they have showed me that art truly is a form of expression that helps reflect your thoughts and feelings, something that words can’t always express.
Pow Wow Hawaii also launched a Kickstarter fundraiser to create a documentary and book about the festival. Click here to learn more and contribute.
Jermel-Lynn Quillopo is a multi-faceted, energetic individual with experience in both print and broadcast journalism. “Social Encore” aims to tell diverse stories about Hawaii’s food, events and people; share your tips with Jermel via email or follow her on Twitter.