Graffiti Gallery at Loft in Space

Art Goes Pow: At this show, you can watch the art being made.

The second annual Pow Wow Hawaii, an artist invitational, will involve 31 local and international artists, many of whom began their careers with a spray can and someone else’s wall.

Pow Wow will take place primarily in the Loft in Space gallery and Kakaako streets from February 13 to 19. The public can stop by at any point to watch, to interact, to influence even, while the artists create.

Jasper Wong, the event’s founder, says, “a lot of times the process leading up to the final product is more beautiful than the final product itself. Most people don’t get to experience that.”

Pow Wow isn’t just about graffiti; some of the participants are canvas painters and sculptors, well-versed in gallery exhibitions and art by commission, further blurring the line between street art and fine art.

Whether you view graffiti as art or as vandalism, these artists encourage you to come have a look. A sampling of artists participating:


Based: Montreal, Canada

Graffiti artists are having the last laugh. Once chased by cops, they’re now chased by corporations hungry for fresh logos and designs, corporations whose billboards may have been tagged by the very artists they’re pursuing. 123Klan, a husband-and-wife team, has a client list that includes Coca Cola, Microsoft, Nike and Sony Playstation. (Not that they’ve put aside their illicit ways entirely.)

illustrations: courtesy pow wow hawaii


Based: Honolulu/Bay Area, Calif.

Current project: Water Writes, a series of murals in cities impacted by water rights issues, from Honolulu to the Gaza Strip, Palestine. “I call [graffiti] art in public because our art is in the streets and not inside private galleries … Like Bertold Brecht said, ‘Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.’”


Based: Melbourne, Australia

Comic books meet spraycans in Meggs’ work, inspired by myths and fables, childhood villains and heroes.

Eddie Colla

Based: Oakland, Calif.

“In a large part, [the urban environment] doesn’t really reflect any of the culture, concerns or residents of the space. It’s a very monolithic voice. I think graffiti and street art re-introduce other voices back into that landscape. To my mind they are more credible voices. There is no ulterior motive, nothing to buy. It’s merely an effort to restore some balance.”