Tag Archives: Children’s Creative Project

Chalk of Fame: Mission steps burst with the color of the I Madonnari festival

Chalk artists are hard at work Saturday in the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival at the Santa Barbara Mission. The festival continues through Monday. KENNETH SONG/NEWS-PRESS PHOTO
Chalk artists are hard at work Saturday in the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival at the Santa Barbara Mission. The festival continues through Monday.
KENNETH SONG/NEWS-PRESS PHOTO

“I’m impressed with the crowd already,” said Kathy Koury, the organizer of the I Madonnari festival that opened Saturday at the steps of the Old Mission. “I’m happy but tired!”

It takes a lot to put together I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival, now in its 29th year. By the end of the three-day Memorial Day weekend, the entire blacktop outside the Mission will be covered with beautiful works of art. Some are originals, others are copies of old masters, and some challenge the eye with tricks of forced perspective.

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29th annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival set to open this coming weekend

Blair Looker, featured artist of this year's I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival, holds one of her sketches that will be created in chalk at the Santa Barbara Mission next weekend. HELENA DAY BREESE/NEWS-PRESS
Blair Looker, featured artist of this year’s I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival, holds one of her sketches that will be created in chalk at the Santa Barbara Mission next weekend.
HELENA DAY BREESE/NEWS-PRESS

The black asphalt outside the Santa Barbara Mission will once again bloom with color this coming weekend when it hosts the 29th annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival.

Artists – from touring professionals in the street-painting scene to first-time volunteers and children – will cover the grounds outside the Mission with a patchwork of chalk paintings of their own design.

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The Power Spot: Jessea Gay Marie is this year’s I Madonnari featured artist

Jessea Gay Marie is the featured artist in the 28th edition of IÊMadonnari at the Santa Barbara Mission. She has participated in the event since 1997.
Jessea Gay Marie is the featured artist in the 28th edition of IÊMadonnari at the Santa Barbara Mission. She has participated in the event since 1997.

Jessea Gay Marie was hard at work Thursday afternoon under the two bell towers of the Santa Barbara Mission.

As this year’s featured artist for I Madonnari, the 28th annual Italian Street Painting Festival, she was working solo on a 12-by-16-foot space directly below the Mission steps. Above her dark clouds threatened rain – and would later sprinkle all over Santa Barbara – but she was ready.

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