Tag Archives: Santa Barbara Mission

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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Artists put finishing touches on their works at I Madonnari

Artist Jessea Gay Marie created a 12-foot by 16-foot chalk work of a Chumash cave with art on the walls
Artist Jessea Gay Marie created a 12-foot by 16-foot chalk work of a Chumash cave with art on the walls

A misty morning turned to a sunny afternoon as thousands celebrated the final day of Santa Barbara’s 28th annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival at the Mission on Sunday.

With the smell of barbecued chicken wafting through the stalls of the Mission’s front lawn, visitors wandered around the margins of the hundreds of chalk artwork covering the 30,000-square-foot asphalt space below the bell towers.

Colorful drawings recreated old masters and family photos. Others were original works drawn large.

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Chalk full of arts: I Madonnari returns to the Santa Barbara Mission

Space is ready for the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival to begin today.STEVE MALONE/NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS
Space is ready for the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival to begin today.

STEVE MALONE/NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS

The 20,000 square feet of dark asphalt surrounding the Santa Barbara Mission will bloom into a rainbow of colors today as hundreds of chalk artists join in the 28th annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival.

Artists from Santa Barbara and beyond will turn the usually utilitarian surface into a patchwork of art works, created lovingly in chalk over the next few days, with the finished works presented on Monday.

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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 IƊMadonnari 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 IƊMadonnari 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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I Madonnari festival opens today at SB Mission

Featured artists at this year's I Madonnari are Wayne and Cheryl Renshaw. The artists have been preparing their chalk works for the opening of the festival today. MIKE ELIASON/NEWS-PRESS
Featured artists at this year’s I Madonnari are Wayne and Cheryl Renshaw. The artists have been preparing their chalk works for the opening of the festival today.
MIKE ELIASON/NEWS-PRESS

Lovers of street painting, the weekend you’ve been waiting for has arrived.

The 20,000-square-foot area in front of the Santa Barbara Mission will be turned into a walkable art gallery starting today when the I Madonnari chalk art festival returns for its 27th year.

The festival of the traditional Italian art form was the first in the U.S. and is an inspiration to others that have appeared since.

Continue reading I Madonnari festival opens today at SB Mission