I Madonnari Highlights
By Robert Bernstein
The 32nd annual I Madonnari Chalk Painting Festival ran last weekend with plenty of artists as well as plenty of people appreciating the art. Also, plenty of live music, good food and other festivities!
The Festival is over, but it is not too late to see the art in front of the Mission! Go see it before it gets walked and driven on!
Here are my photos of the art and festivities!
I am very grateful to the artists who took the time to pose during their long and challenging creation process. And grateful to all of the artists for their beautiful contributions.
I like to go each day and watch the progress as the art is created. I also return on the morning after to photograph pieces that were not quite done the last afternoon and/or that were too crowded to photograph! This year I have arranged my photos in galleries by day so you can watch the progress.
Scroll down below those galleries and you can see my favorites from the entire event!
Some special notes:
Rod Tryon and I used to work together at the Goleta Valley Voice newspaper before Wendy McCaw bought our paper and shut it down. Rod is noted for creating complex anamorphic pieces that are stretched for optimum viewing. He also creates 3-D effects so his art "pops" out of the pavement. For years he commuted back here from New York at his own expense to create this art. We are fortunate to have him living here again.
This year he created Jabberwocky from the Alice in Wonderland sequel "Through the Looking-Glass".
Here was another brilliant and amusing anamorphic piece!
Architect Tom Meaney is known for the extraordinary subtlety of the skin tones in his art. His pieces always involve family members. He was kind enough to share one of his secrets with me: He mixes commercial pigments with his own special chalk formulation. In addition to the chalk he adds bees wax, Ivory soap, linseed oil and wallpaper paste. His special formula gives fine gradations of tone as well as giving the chalk an extra bit of endurance.
Cecelia Linayao is a regular featured artist who has done the special "foot of the steps" piece in the past.
My friend Sharyn Chan is a software engineer with many other interests. She is a regular at I Madonnari and has been recruited to travel the world assisting with chalk painting installations by Tracy Lee Stum in faraway places!
Here is Tracy Lee Stum and her own amazing creation
This artist is another traveling companion to Tracy Lee Stum. He said this image was based on a photo they took during an art installation in Cairo, Egypt
Delphine Louie Anaya I originally knew as an energetic swing dancer who was an art teacher at Laguna Blanca. She lives in LA now, but comes back each year to create ever more magnificent art! In this case she added a photo of her nephew in place of the original Tibetan child photo image!
Phyllis Chiu is a Solstice artist (who taught me to sew!) who is a regular at I Madonnari. She had help this year in her tribute to Steven Hawking who actually appeared in a Simpson's episode!
State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson sponsored this glowing tribute to Amtrak, which finally has expanded commuter service to our area:
Arts for Humanity sponsored this tribute to Marc Chagall's piece "Woman Riding a Horse". Hannah Jaffe is the talented artist who also did a good job decorating her body with chalk!
Cynthia Copeland is a local dentist. She and her daughter Sophia sometimes come on my Sierra Club hikes and sometimes I have the honor of swing dancing with Cynthia as well. She and Sophia partnered once again this year to create some lovely art
This image of a weathered older man in a Gucci hat seemed like it had been carefully posed. The artist laughed and said in fact he just found this "random" photo and created it in chalk!
Restaurant owners Judy and Sonny of Pattaya Restaurant were out with their sons for a rare break from work!
Javier Garcia posed with his loving depiction of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera
Here was another tribute to Frida
Meredith Morin created one of my favorite pieces this year: Diana Ross in stunning realism, starting with her face
I often enjoy seeing hummingbird sage on the hiking trails in our area. Jennifer LeMay created this image of hummingbird sage complete with a hummingbird!
Jessie Altstatt paused during her creation of a giant octopus
Joy Lynn Davis was another artist who was kind enough to pose with her memorable art
Kathy Koury is the founder of the entire I Madonnari event. She is the executive director of the Children's Creative Project which is the beneficiary of the event. She was kind enough to let me climb their ladder to photograph one of the pieces. This is a whimsical depiction of Garden Eels that really do look like that!
I don't know the story behind this piece, but it was one of my favorites
In the wake of the Montecito fire, there were depictions of tragedy and heroism
A favorite chalk painting depicted one of the koalas that is visiting for a year at the Santa Barbara Zoo from the San Diego zoo:
I don't know the story of this image, but that face has eyes that look deep into yours
Here is another
This is a classic image of Delphic Sibyl by Michelangelo
Here is the featured art piece at the foot of the Mission steps
So much more to say, but just look at the art! There is much more to see!
The entire event is a fundraiser for 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.