This year marked the third year in a row I have been able to attend the I Madonnari Festival held in Santa Barbara over Memorial Day weekend. This year the weather was sunny and hazy and hot and cold. In spite of that the artist still performed and made beautiful chalk paintings on the steps of the Santa Barbara Mission.
As a visitor you first see the big sign for the festival on the vendor tents just outside the Mission grounds. Once you walk around the tents (below) you enter the broad blacktop plaza specially prepared for the artists to create their works of art.
Once in the festival you are in for a very fun art walk. Dozens of chalk murals await you. They address numerous themes but all are sponsored in some way. And all are created in chalk.
I like to stroll and find a few murals that would appear to make good images. My goal is to show the artists as they create their work. So, I typically select a chalk mural artist who is still working and has what I think is a compelling design going. The overall experience can be highly individual and contemplative (as much as it can be with all the people around) or interactive with an artist. Some artists will chat with visitors while others don headphones to block out the questions or distraction of hundreds upon hundreds of people passing by. These chalk artists are incredible. Some seem to work from memory of an idea or image, others work off of a sketch, some use photographs to guide them, and one artist used an iPad image as their template for their work. Amazing to watch the art develop.
Below is a slide show that contains what I believe are my best shots from the 2015 I Madonnari Festival. Enjoy!
If you are one of the artists who's image is found in this collection and would like a copy to use please contact me. I will be happy to provide you with a copy.
Thanks for visiting this blog.
Craig E Rademacher