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POW! WOW! Washington DC
About POW! WOW!


  • Mural by Madsteez ©Madsteez / Photo: Mike Maguire
    The murals often cover walls slated for destruction, but you can still catch this fantastic POW! WOW! 2017 piece by California-based artist Madsteez at Florida Avenue and N Street NE.
  • Kelly Towles speaking in front of the POW! WOW! DC 2016 mural of HOXXOH ©HOXXOH /Photo: Mike Maguire
    POW! WOW! Washington, DC Regional Director Kelly Towles speaks in front of the 2016 POW! WOW! mural on First Street NE by Miami artist Douglas Hoekzema, aka Hoxxoh.
  • Wing Chow works on her mural for POW! WOW! DC 2018 ©Wing Chow / Photo: Mike Maguire
    Richmond, Virginia-based artist Christina Wing Chow in front of her work-in-progress on the Metropolitan Branch Bike Trail.
  • Mike Murphy, one of this year’s participating artists, puts together the festival’s first ever sculpture-based mural ©Michael Murphy / Photo: Mike Maguire
    Mike Murphy, one of this year’s participating artists, puts together the festival’s first ever sculpture-based mural.
Third annual POW! WOW! DC Mural Festival kicked off in Washington’s NoMa neighborhood on Saturday, May 5 and ran through Monday, May 14. The festival’s mission is to beautify the city by sharing art from around the world. The twenty artists selected for this year’s festival are creating wall murals throughout NoMa and along the nearby Metropolitan Branch Bike Trail.
POW! WOW! Does not pay artists for their murals provides flights and hotel rooms for out-of-town artists, as well as meals for all participating artists. POW! WOW! also rents electric lifts for those who are painting the larger walls. The artists have complete creative control of their work provided they steer clear of sex, violence, and politics; a condition that makes it easier for organizers to convince property owners to volunteer wall space.
In 2010, Jasper Wong founded POW! WOW! in Hawaii. It has grown into an international network of artists. The regional director for POW! WOW! Washington, DC is artist Kelly Towles whose studio, Holy Bones, is a few blocks from NoMa. Towles has spent the last year organizing the event, which includes navigating all the necessary permitting processes and finding property owners willing to allow their walls to be transformed into works of art.
Check the POW! WOW! website for a map of the murals, and a list of artists.



Mike Maguire ©Josh Mike Maguire is a Washington, D.C. photographer and writer. His photos have appeared in The Washington City Paper, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, and Thrasher Magazine. A native of the D.C. area, he loves photographing the city's nightlife and street art. 
Follow Mike on Instagram.