I Madonnari Chalks it Up to Art

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Slideshow of photos from the I Madonnari Festival (All photos by Fritz Olenberger)

The I Madonnari Festival chalked it up to a good time and celebrated artists at the Santa Barbara Mission this past weekend.

Madonnari, which is Italian for street painters, transform the pavement in front of the Mission with approximately 150 vibrant and colorful images. Santa Barbara adopted this tradition from the original festival in Grazie di Curtatone, Italy.

The festival kicked off on Saturday morning with artists spending countless hours under the sun creating magnificent works of art with chalk alone. Live music, food, and beverages were open for visitors to enjoy the scenery and watch the artists at work.

All art pieces were completed on the festival's final day, Memorial Day. However, locals know the best time to look at the art pieces is on Tuesday and Wednesday after the crowds have gone home. The art stays as long as the weather allows.

The festival benefits the Children's Creative Project, a nonprofit arts education program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office. The Project serves 50,000 children in more than 100 schools with visual and performing arts workshops and performances throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. 

More of Fritz's photos can be seen here.

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