Twelve new murals will soon brighten local businesses and outdoor spaces with the return of Long Beach Walls and the Art Renzei Festivals next week.

Local, regional and international artists will be painting from Monday, Aug. 14, through Saturday, Aug. 19, and locals are invited to see the process in action and enjoy other art installations and activations from the concurrent sculpture festival, Art Renzei, in spaces around the city.

Eighteen artists are participating in this year’s festival, creating works centered around the theme, “Follow Your Bliss,” as a way to encourage people to explore their passions and joy.

Long Beach Walls had initially tapped 19 artists to participate, but Taiwan-based artist Leho had to drop out due to travel issues, a spokesperson said.

Twelve artists will be painting new murals in locations around the city from Downtown to Alamitos Beach, and six are participating in the Art Renzei sculpture portion of the festival, with dynamic art installations placed predominantly in Downtown’s Lincoln Park.

Attendees may consider first visiting Renaissance High School, which is serving as an artist hub this year. Four artists, including Los Angeles artists Mr. Toledo and Superwaxx as well as Seattle-based muralist Stevie Shao and artist Jack Soren will each be painting a mural in various areas on the campus.

Tang-Wei Hsu paints his mural located at 849 Pine Ave. on the Courtyard Lofts wall in Long Beach on September 29, 2021. Photo by Jose Cordon.

Long Beach Walls organizers said more Long Beach schools may serve as hubs for the festival in the future, the idea being to strengthen relationships with the district and inspire its students.

This year marks Long Beach Walls’ eighth year creating eye-catching works of art that further decorate and invigorate the architectural landscape of the city. The festival, formerly known as POW! WOW! Long Beach, began in 2015 as an extension of the renowned Worldwide Walls events started by Hawaii-based artist Jasper Wong. The popular street art series has brought murals to public spaces in cities like Honolulu, Seoul, Washington D.C., Taipei and Tokyo since 2010.

In Long Beach alone, Long Beach Walls has seen to the creation of more than 100 murals in over 40 square miles of the city that have been painted on otherwise drab walls, buildings and freeway overpasses. The popularity of the festival continues to attract talent from across the world.

Last year, Intertrend, the creative agency that helps organize Long Beach Walls, began accepting applications to participate in the festival, and more than 200 artists applied. This year, organizers says more than 600 artists submitted their proposals to be part of the premier festival.

“Long Beach Walls and Art Renzei bring together a diverse group of talented artists, muralists and creators from all over the world who share the goal of promoting culture and fostering connections. We are honored that it has become one of the most anticipated cultural art event of the summer in Long Beach that gets better each year,” Julia Huang, Intertrend’s founder and CEO said in a statement.

Julia Huang, Long Beach Walls’ (formerly POW! WOW! Long Beach) adviser stands in front of a Brendon Monroe mural, during a press conference to kick off Long Beach Walls 2021 as it returns after a year’s hiatus, Wednesday, September 29, 2021. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

To make the most out of the week-long celebration, be sure to check out the festival’s Digital Passport, which includes information on additional Long Beach Walls special events, such as a kick-off party at The Bungalow Long Beach on Sunday, Aug. 13, and a mural bike tour on Thursday, Aug. 17. The formal opening ceremony for Long Beach walls is on Monday, Aug. 14, at 9 a.m. at the Long Beach Convention Center. A closing party will take place at the Mosaic Promenade with live music, food, drinks and art on Saturday, Aug. 19.

To see all the mural, sculpture and pop-up locations click here. For more information on Long Beach Walls, click here.