This year I had the pleasure of collaborating with several non profit organizations on a public art pieces. This memorial day weekend thousands of people came to the Santa Barbara Mission for the i Madonnari chalk art festival. Talented artists, of all ages and experience levels, worked live on their masterpieces admits the crowds of appreciative visitors.
Madonnari, or street painters, transform the Mission plaza using pastels on pavement to create 150 vibrant and colorful, large scale images. We are proud to be the first to bring this romantic festival to the western hemisphere from our sister festival in Grazie di Curtatone, Italy. 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 Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
My journey started over a month ago when I was approached by Nathalie Gensac of Youth Interactive to participate in their chalk paintings square. I’ve done several in the past and I was excited to work on another project.
Youth Interactive is an after-school program for students of all ages focused on teaching Technology, Entrepreneurship and The Arts.
This collaboration included 3 youth artists; Toby Trout, Danny Meza, and Jonathon Hernandez. Over the weeks leading up to the event we worked together with our sponsor, Santa Barbara Beautiful, to select a design – with support from Robert Adams who also provided amazing chalk for us to use.
Santa Barbara Beautiful is an organization of volunteers dedicated to beautifying our area in a variety of ways. We work independently as well as cooperate with neighborhood associations, city departments, and other agencies.
Over the 3 day weekend our 8×8 chalk painting came to life. It was truly a community event. Friends, family, supports, donors, art lovers, kids, and artists from all different backgrounds were there together enjoying the weekend. Our crew was sporting matching t-shirts with the sketch on the back, thanks to Santa Barbara Beautiful. We were also interviewed about the process while at the event. I was asked many questions about our work throughout the weekend. Most people really connected with the beautiful image, designed by Danny, and that’s what they would say, ‘Beautiful!’.
The paintings will be on display until they fade. For more images from this years festival, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Barbara-I-Madonnari-Festival/125996794086931