The Long Beach Walls and Art Renzei Festival use city buildings as canvases

Several parts of Long Beach will become vibrant open-air art galleries as muralists paint massive pieces of artwork live during the Long Beach Walls and Art Renzei Festival.

“Long Beach Walls beautifies the community through visual art and murals in public spaces and allows the community to come together and see the creation of the murals, talk to the artists about what the murals mean and get inspired,” said Cassandra Leeman, executive director of Creative Class Collective, the organization behind the free event, which takes place Aug.14-19.

During that week, artists will be painting murals throughout the city on walls spanning from downtown Long Beach to Alamitos Bay.

  • Artists will be painting murals throughout Long Beach from Aug....

    Artists will be painting murals throughout Long Beach from Aug. 14-19 as part of the Long Beach Walls and Art Renzei Festival. (Photo by JB Felipe)

  • Artists will be painting murals throughout Long Beach from Aug....

    Artists will be painting murals throughout Long Beach from Aug. 14-19 as part of the Long Beach Walls and Art Renzei Festival. (photo by Adrian Gutierrez)

To view the works and see the artists in action, log on to artrenzei.com/passport to see a map of all the mural locations and other special events associated with the festival. Artists will be painting from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

“The whole point of the festival is to have the community involved,” Leeman said. “So community members can come by and visit the artists and talk about their process.”

The festival is part of the globally recognized Worldwide Walls series of street art events, which launched in 2010. The local Long Beach version, which has been taking place since 2015, has created more than 100 murals across Long Beach since its inception, Leeman added.

The murals this year will range in style from realistic portraits and graffiti-style art to colorful abstract pieces and anime works.

“My mission as an artist has always been to use my talents and passion for art to give back and be of service to the global community. Long Beach Walls allows me to fulfill that mission by creating a public artwork that is aimed at uplifting and inspiring the viewers who connect with my work,” said participating artist SUPERWAXX in a statement.

The Los Angeles-based artist is one of 19 chosen out of more than 600 who applied to be a featured artists in the festival.

While organizers hope the murals remain a permanent part of the Long Beach landscape, the festival will also include temporary pop-up art installations and places like the Psychic Temple and Lincoln Park and at other events during the week.

An opening ceremony is set for Aug. 14 from 9-11 a.m. at the Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Boulevard.

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