What is POW! WOW! Worcester

Mural festivals like POW! WOW! Worcester are part of a placemaking effort intended to rejuvenate blighted areas in industrial cities. In its fourth year, POW! WOW! Worcester continues to bring world renowned artists to the heart of the commonwealth. Public art has made Worcester’s neighborhoods more welcoming and walkable. The festival goes “beyond walls” to incorporate impactful programming that spans from artist panels to can’t-miss nightlife events. 

Keep an eye on the POW! WOW! Worcester Facebook page for official mural tours and pop up events along with details about the 2019 festival. If you’re in town, we have two options to make the most of your day trip. You can also checkout this map to identify the most highly concentrated neighborhoods in Worcester’s public art scene. 

By foot: tour downtown

Grab a bite at deadhorse hill or Armsby Abbey and then make your way down Main Street. You’ll find Slick’s homage to Harvey Ball’s famous smiley face on the rear of the Palladium, kitty corner to Arlin Graff’s turquoise masterpiece of a fragmented bird. Pause at Morgan Blair’s Mechanics Hall mural to pick out familiar shapes and colors from the building’s interior that have been deconstructed and reassembled like puzzle pieces. The Federal Plaza Garage features sky high depictions of fierce females by Marka27 and Christina Angelina, respectively. You’ll need 3D glasses (available at Worcester Wares) to fully appreciate Insane51’s romantic rendering on the Federal Street side of The Hanover Theater. Greg Mike’s wall will remind you to smile on your way to the Worcester Public Library where WRDSMTH’s typewriter awaits. Take your time at YWCA where the works of Sydney James and Askew One pay tribute to strong black women. 

By car or bike: tour the public schools

Treat yourself to an education by touring POW! WOW! Worcester’s most popular canvases: the Worcester Public Schools. Elm Park Community School features 19 murals including French artist Zest’s vibrant basketball court and Juxtapoz Deputy Editor Kristin Farr’s largest contemporary hex sign to date. Chandler Magnet Elementary has 6 walls, the largest of which represents a collaboration between Hawaiian artist Woes and Japanese artist Dragon76. Chandler Elementary School features a tribute to Worcester’s own Major Taylor, painted by Max Sansing, and a mural by Daniel Danger who has worked on a number of high profile projects including Walt Disney Pictures 2016 “The Jungle Book” and LucasArts 2010 “Star Wars.” Other POW! WOW! Worcester supported schools include Worcester Arts Magnet, Flagg Street Elementary, Forest Grove Middle School, Canterbury Street School, Rice Square School, and Clark Street School.