Search the #streetart hashtag on Instagram, and your feed will be flooded with over 46.5 million posts that capture this living form of art that turns unexpected places like parking garages and the sides of grocery stores into canvases for creatives looking for a more immersive way to display their work. For the past five years, Long Beach has continued to add to their creative landscape by adding new colorful, dynamic and thought-provoking murals throughout the city from artists all over the world in an event called Pow! Wow! Long Beach, which takes place this year from July 21-28. To commemorate the event’s fifth anniversary this year, we’ve created a place-to-place Pow! Wow! guide that’s sure to turn your Instagram into a colorful digital display of some of the city’s most iconic, everlasting murals easier than ever – no professional photographer needed.
To start the tour: The Long Beach Convention Center
280 E Seaside Way, Long Beach, California
These murals by Jeff Soto and the artist duo “Low Bros” are inspired by pop culture, hip-hop and urbanism, and can be found at The Long Beach Convention Center. As both of these murals are horizontal instead of vertical, they’re perfect for a panoramic photo or an “action” shot in which the subject moves, or walks from one side to the other.
Point 2: Long Beach Thai District
441 East Broadway, Long Beach, California
This “electric” mural, Optichromie For Long Beach, was created by artist Felipe Pantone, who fused graphic design elements and geometric shapes with conventional graffiti to create an ultra-modern aesthetic that complements the stark modernity of urban centers like Long Beach. We recommend arriving here early to get the perfect shot of this mural without any of the cars in the adjacent parking lot.
Point 3: The Varden Hotel
335 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, California
To add diversity to your photo gallery, make your next stop the Varden Hotel, a “historic-chic” European-style boutique hotel that is home to two very different murals.
The black-and-white mural, created by Taiwanese-American artist James Jean in 2015, blends the surrealist styles of the 1920s with modern artistic elements.
The second mural painted in 2015 on the side of the Varden Hotel is a collage of various images, texts and styles, which is a signature style for Southern California artist Tristan Eaton. As a teenager growing up in Los Angeles County, Varden painted everything from billboards to dumpsters as he developed his interest in urban art.
Point 4: Downtown Long Beach
336 Pine Avenue, Long Beach, California
Created in 2017, this colorful mural painted by Japanese-American artist Mina Hamada is found on the side of an unassuming downtown parking lot on Pine Avenue. The mural’s large size and bright colors make it the perfect Instagram opportunity for those who love a bright, bold Instagram aesthetic.
This mural, like much of Hamada’s work, is characterized through abstract and organic shapes in soft, bright and warm colors on a monochrome background.
Finish off at: Long Beach Creamery & Intertrend Communications
228 East Broadway, Long Beach, California
The final spot on our Instagram tour through Long Beach take us to the edge of the East Village. On the side of the ad agency Intertrend Communications, near Long Beach Creamery, is a 2016 Pow! Wow! mural by the Japanese art duo Hitotzuki, which had a creative vision to invigorate the area with new, vivid landscapes.
Thanks to contrasting colors and interesting use of windows, this is one of the best murals to photograph for a true “city” feel on your Instagram feed. Need a perfect prop for your photo? Stop by nearby Long Beach Creamery and grab a cone to photograph with, and of course enjoy on a hot summer day!
Will we see you for Pow! Wow! in July? Make sure to follow @powwowlongbeach on Instagram for updates on the murals that will be popping up this year during the event. Find more Insta-worthy inspiration from previous years at Pow! Wow! and learn more about Pow! Wow!’s previous artworks here.
Tag your best photos from Pow! Wow! 2019 with #PowWowLongBeach and #VisitLB for a chance to be featured on our Instagram. We can’t wait to see you there!