POW! WOW! 2016 Sites

After two years of planning, the inaugural POW! WOW! Worcester opened on August 26, 2016 and the city has not been the same since. Busy thoroughfares, crowded parking lots and quiet alleys have been transformed by unexpected and energetic bursts of color and imagination. In 2016, the planning committee focused projects in the downtown core around Worcester’s Common and along Main Street to bring people out onto the streets. Drawing upon the talent and vision of international and local artists, POW! WOW! catapulted Worcester into the ranks of other world cities like Honolulu, Long Beach, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Kobe that are using large-scale public art to beautify and enliven urban space. Walking the murals allows residents to rediscover the old charms of downtown and to participate in the exciting process of Worcester’s cultural reinvention that POW! WOW! celebrates.

2 Southbridge Street

Its stage has seen the like of renowned French actress Sarah Bernhardt in 1906 to current jazz and pop greats, so it is appropriate that the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts' exterior wall now contributes to the burgeoning visual arts…

135 Commercial St.

Plans for a civic center arena started with the larger plans to redevelop downtown around the Worcester Center and Galleria in 1965. The plan was to clear central downtown of its older manufacturing and industrial buildings and build modern office,…

7 Jackson St.

Until Patch Whisky, Ghostbeard, and Matt Gondek applied their characteristic styles, 7 Jackson Street was a largely nondescript warehouse-like building. Mostly hidden behind a long-standing boarding house, it has seen many uses including car repair,…

321 Main St.

Mechanics Hall has seen many uses from self-improvement lectures, mechanic fairs, and minstrel shows in the nineteenth century to basketball, roller staking, wrestling, and classical concerts in the twentieth century. Built by the Worcester Country…

50 Water Street

Spencer Keeton Cunningham created this mural in 2016 at Worcester's inaugural POW! WOW! The mural protests the Dakota Access Pipeline. Cunningham describes the work as: "Here in this painting I created a black oil soaked…

36 Portland St.

As Americans took to the road in the early 20th century, urban entrepreneurs and city officials struggled to accommodate and profit from the automobiles’ increasing presence. Among the biggest demands was for parking and commercial lots popped-up…

15 Salem St.

Greg Mike’s mural at 15 Salem Street comes with layers of meaning. The Smiley face pays homage to Worcesterite Harvey Ball’s iconic design, while the tiger is a symbol of the passion and energy of people. The Tom Cat alludes to youth and, in Greg…

570 Main Street

The Californian muralist Christina Angelina, who also paints under the alias "Startfighter," teamed up with the Mexican street artist Victor "MARKA27" Quinonez to breath new life into the drab brown brick pillar of the parking garage.

1 Salem Street

To more fully meet the needs of a changing city and its families in 1960, the YWCA moved to new, larger quarters in a thoroughly redeveloped parcel just east of the Common. A block of mixed-use buildings dating from the early nineteenth century were…

261 Main St.

From feature films like the 1929 This Thing Called Love to Cab Calloway and the Cotton Club Orchestra in 1941 to the Jerry Garcia Band in 1982 and Prince in 2000, the Palladium has been a mainstay of Worcester’s cultural life drawing diverse…