The I Madonnari Festival

May 27, 2013

As many of you know I have departed Marquette, Michigan for the West Coast and Santa Barbara, California. During the 5-day drive in a packed Subaru with just enough room for me, food, drink, and a satellite navigation system I felt like a terrestrial astronaut. My capsule on wheels hurtled across the Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Plateau, the Mojave Desert, and up the Southern California Coast where I arrived in Santa Barbara on Memorial Day Weekend. Thank you Apple Maps!

What a change from Marquette. Same planet different place. The difference I can put quite simply...more people, more traffic, way more palm trees, more happenings, and more sun. I think I like it.


On my first day in Santa Barbara I went to the I Madonnari Festival. A madonnari is Italian for a street painter. So this local festival featured over 100 vibrant and colorful street murals created on the plaza of the historic Santa Barbara Mission. The place was packed with artists working their craft, sun drenched spectators, music, food, and a beautiful day. I brought my camera and tried to capture the nature of this local event. The images below show what the day was like and what caught my eye.

 

This is just a sampling of the excellent street art available at the I Madonnari Festival. Some artists, like Cynthia Kostylo, are creating at the festival for the first time. Others attend on a repeat basis. What artistry was displayed for the casual observers as we walked by the true talent that created this vibrant event. The Santa Barbara Mission itself, one of 21 original Spanish missions, is entirely photogenic. Even the cacti growing along its walls are worth a photographer's look.

The I Madonnari Festival benefits the Santa Barbara Children's Creative Project. Works by young artists were also featured in the festival.

What a nice way to spend my first nice day in Santa Barbara.

CER


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