Did you know there are different types of California poppy flowers? I recently learned about it from a radio announcer who explained why poppies were being removed from the UCSB campus. Apparently the coastal variety is lighter in color and also resistant to molding in our wet foggy weather. There is an effort to conserve the coastal poppy.
I have an opportunity to share information about the poppy in a visual form this May at the iMadonnari chalk painting festival. In collaboration with Santa Barbara Beautiful and Youth Interactive students, a 8×8 chalk painting will be done next month.
First I explored what is beautiful about Santa Barbara in a session with the Youth Interactive team. There were three visual themes that emerge from the process: Dance, City, and Landscape. General consensus is that what’s makes Santa Barbara beautiful is bright colors and its diversity of people and geography. (Specially the mixing of old and new.) Below are sketches from our brainstorming.
Next I worked on an image, combining the elements and ideas the students came up with (figure, architecture and landscape) and added the conservation aspect requested by Santa Barbara Beautiful, “The artwork should be graphically strong with rich color. Themes should focus on community beautification with a focus on native plants in a way that is bold and graphic. If there can be a focus in the image of planting, stewardship or conservation and/or community engagement… Hands planting/ planting trees was also mentioned.”
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. Festival hours are 10-6 daily. Admission is free.