WORCESTER — After revitalizing the Great Brook Valley neighborhood, and walls on the north side of the city, POW! WOW! Woecester 2019 is back this week with four artists painting murals in three Worcester Public Schools.
Local artist, and POW! WOW! Worcester alumni Eamon Gillen will kick off the event by painting at Lincoln Street School.
“We are all so excited for the artist to begin,” said Michelle Gabrielian, Principal at Lincoln Street School. “Especially the children.”
Birdcap, a Mississippi based artist will paint a mythology inspired mural, and lead a talk, at Burncoat Middle School, and at Clark Street School,and two Los Angeles artists — Allison Bamcat and Jake Merten — will paint murals, give a talk, and teach a workshop to students from Clark Street and University Park Campus Schools.
Since 2016, POW! WOW! Worcester has brought international artists to the heart of the commonwealth, creating over 130 pieces of public art, including 106 murals, the largest collection in New England. Part of the POW! WOW! Worldwide network of festivals founded by Jasper Wong in 2011, POW! WOW! Worcester’s mission of increasing walkability and enhancing connectivity between different neighborhoods has been evident in the work they’ve done over the past four years.
Focusing first on large scale public art, then on uplifting our public schools and educating the community on the important connection public art has to our local culture. Going deeper into into the neighborhoods in year three, helped bring together this years partnership with the Worcester Housing Authority, and art to the north side of the city. Murals painted in the Great Brook Valley, at the Edward M. Kennedy Health Center, and on Burncoat High School, are intended to spark a connection between home life and school life for many kids in that neighborhood.
This week, POW! WOW! heads back into the schools. Reaching beyond the art, the murals being painted will be accompanied by artist-led student talks and workshops meant to educate, engage, inspire, and create a dialogue intended to promote diversity and inclusion, and bring a greater sense of community through public art.
So get online, download a map, and walk the murals. With a friend. With your family. Explore a new neighborhood and be inspired by what you see.
Set aside some time to go see the murals being painted this week. Or if you have a child in one of the many schools graced with a mural, ask them about it and begin the discussion of how the art makes them feel during their school day. Engaging the community in a meaningful way is an important part of the POW! WOW! Mission. Here’s your chance to be a part of it.
To download a walking map of all of the POW! WOW! Worcester murals and the neighborhoods they are in, or for more information about the festival, to donate, or to volunteer, visit www.powwowworcester.com.
If you would like to support thr artists by supplying them with paint, consider donating to the effort by purchasing a pin and becoming a “cantributor.” Pins may be purchased online at www.powwowworcester.com at Worcester Wares, 105 Commercial Street, Worcester, or at CC Lowell, 455 Pleasant Street, Worcester.
Lead photo credit: Jennifer Ingham/Twitter @Jen_Ingham
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