The 31st annual Italian Street Painting Festival was held the last weekend of May at the grounds of the historic Mission in Santa Barbara, California—and these gorgeous creations may inspire you to go chalk your own sidewalk.
Inspired by its sister festival in Grazie di Curtatone, Italy, the Santa Barbara event known as ‘I Madonnari’ was the first festival of its kind in North America. Using colorful pastels on pavement, artists and young people create 150 large-scale street paintings—and all proceeds from the event benefit arts education, workshops, and performances in the local public schools.
25,000 spectators over the Memorial Day holiday weekend will visit, marvel at the paintings, stroll the Italian Market with its array of Italian cuisine, buy souvenirs of the event, and enjoy live music.
The festival benefits the Children’s Creative Project, a nonprofit arts education program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office. The Project serves 50,000 children in more than 100 schools with visual and performing arts workshops and performances throughout the region.
Businesses and citizens sponsor the squares of pavement, as large as 12-by-12 feet, to advertise their business or celebrate a friend or family member, or nonprofit you support.
Street painters are called ‘I Madonnari’ in Italy because they historically recreated images of the Madonna. The Italian Madonnari have been traced to the sixteenth century, when itinerant artists were brought into the cities to work on the huge cathedrals.
Source: Good News Network