Pow Wow Leon Keer (copy) 2018

Artist Leon Keer works his mural during Pow! Wow! 2018.

POW! WOW! Long Beach is returning next week for a weeklong celebration of street art and the cultures that fuel it. 

The event brings artists and the city together to create works of art on the sides of buildings and along streets and sidewalks. This year, 20 murals are expected to be added throughout the city, bringing the total number of POW! WOW! murals to 95 by the end of month.

"POW! WOW! Long Beach is a unique public art experience different from anything else in the country," Priya Sharma, marketing promoter, said. "Unlike some art galleries and museums, which can be quite stuffy, Long Beach has an appealing type of art collection with the works of art are everywhere on the sides of buildings along the streets."

And the POW! WOW! experience encompasses more than the murals. Events are scheduled all week long, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the spirit of POW! WOW! through music, art and community.

It all starts on Sunday, July 21, when POW! WOW! Long Beach is opening an installation gallery called "MOVEMENT" featuring artists CRASH ONE, Balloonski and Spencer Little, to name a few. That's going to be open to the public through 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, at 327 Pine Ave.

From 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, Jay Howell, Bob's Burger illustrator, will be discussing the industry, also at 327 Pine Ave.

On Wednesday, July 24, a Movies on the Beach special will feature "Boom For Real," a film about artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. That's happening from 8 to 10 p.m. on Granada Beach. Like all beach movies, guests can bring a blanket, beach chairs and a picnic dinner to enjoy the film.

"Every year this festival beautifies the area with large-scale mural installations from many different artists from all over the world, and murals stay on the walls even after the festival is over," Sharma said. "So year after year an amount of amazing artwork is increasing all around the city."

From 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, at Studio One Eleven (245 E. Third St.), sculptor and painter Brendan Monroe and POW WOW! Worldwide director Jasper Wong will be talking about art, design and creative spaces.

Port LBC, an apparel shop in Retro Row, is hosting a photo show at their location at 402 Saint Louis Ave. It's happening from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 26, during Retro Row's monthly Fourth Fridays. 

From 7 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, KCRW Summer Nights is hosting the POW! WOW! Closing Party at The Promenade.

But the party doesn't end Saturday night.

From noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 28, people can soak up the sun for Swim Skool: POW! WOW! Long Beach Edition at the Renaissance Hotel. The 21 and older event will offer artwork, music, drinks and more.

Each event is free to attend, including KCRW: Summer Nights and the Renaissance Pool Party.

But don't let the festivities take attention away from the spirit of POW! WOW!, which is the artists creating and sharing their artwork.

Six Long Beach artists are on the roster this year. They are Cynthia Lujan, Tida Whitney, Jason Keam, Bodeck Hernandez, Steve Martinez and artist Nevermade.

Artists from Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, New York City and Phoenix are set to paint as well, including international artists from Belgium, Mexico, Dubai, Japan and Taiwan.

"We want people to see the beauty of the city from the perspective of diverse artists," Sharma said.

A full list of murals and locations, as well as more information for the events happening all week long, can be found at powwowlongbeach.com/murals.

Google Play and Apple Store app Tour LBC also provides a virtual tour of POW! WOW! Long Beach murals.

Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at sstutzman@gazettes.com.

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