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.
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.
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.
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.