Monday, September 14, 2015

I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival


For 29 years, the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival has been held in Santa Barbara on the Memorial Day weekend. The squares for the paintings are always set up on the plaza immediately in front of the Santa Barbara Mission, which is a beautiful place to visit anytime of the year. The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. On Saturday morning, many of the artists begin work on their allotted spaces. By Monday afternoon, most of them are finished.



I do not know how many years we have been attending this event. We started when my son was young and his school participated by purchasing a square and decorating it. The festival seemed fairly established at that time but it could not have been in operation too many years.

Somewhere along the way, we stopped going. The crowds are intense and often it is sunny and hot. About eight years ago when we had digital cameras to take photos with, we started attending again. It has become a tradition. We always go early Friday to see the work on the squares begin, and return on Sunday morning to see some of the completed squares. With breakfast out on both days, of course.

Here are some of our photos from the event.








The following links show some other views and provide more information:


18 comments:

  1. Thanks for that Tracy - looks terrific and I think these sorts of activities are so important and so worth celebrating.

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    1. Sergio, it amazes me that there are so many chalk artists out there. Just amazing to watch them at work.

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  2. I love this. Thanks for sharing about it. Amazing pictures.

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    1. I love every stage of the process, Kay, from the setup to finished product. (Although we don't see many of the finished ones.)

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  3. Tracy, thanks for sharing this lovely festival. I love art. It's fun to paint and watch others paint too.

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    1. You are welcome, Prashant. People watching is part of the fun too.

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  4. What beautiful work. Well worth seeing, I'm glad to see your photos.

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    1. Thanks, it is an event we look forward to each year.

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  5. This is really gorgeous work, Tracy! How lucky you are to get to see it in person. I like your tradition very much. Thanks for sharing :-)

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    1. Thanks, Margot. We were lucky this year with overcast skies in the morning when we were there. Sometimes the artists work in very hot sun.

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    1. It is Rebecca, just gorgeous. And some of squares done by schools have bookish themes.

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  7. I think I derive more pleasure from this type of art work than that hung in galleries!

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    1. Yes,Col, in this type of event you can get up close and see how the work is done, and the artists are very dedicated to getting it right.

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  8. How fascinating! Thanks for sharing the information and the photos.

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    1. I am glad I put them up, Moira, I can look at them easily over and over. The young lady in the 3rd photo from the top was my favorite artist. I watched her for thirty minutes on the third day, and she was not even close to finished by the time we left.

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  9. Good pictures. Thanks for posting this. (I am still catching up after two road trips.) I know this church. Many years ago, we drove up the Calif. coast and stopped off to look at quite a few of the missions.

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    1. Thanks, Elgin. We haven't been to many of the missions along the coast and I would love to visit more of them.

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